   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from Kyla, a student: Jenny cares 7 times as many butterflies as Charles. Charles catches 2 times as much as Chase. All together they have 560 butterflies. How many butterflies does each person have? Please help, I am very confused on how to solve the problem. Thank you! Hi Kyla,

Since the number of butterflies that Jenny has depends on the number that Charles and the number that Charles has depends on the number that Chase has if I just knew how many Chase has I would be done. Thus, to set up an algebraic expression I am going to let the number of butterflies that Chase has be the unknown.

Let $B$ be the number of butterflies that Chase has. In terms of $B$ how many butterflies does Charles have? Jenny has 7 times this number so how many butterflies does Jenny have? The sum of these three numbers is 560 so solve for $B.$

When I do this I don't get an integer for $B.$ Are you sure you have typed the problem correctly?

Penny      Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and the Imperial Oil Foundation.