Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Yvonne:

Two numbers multiplied to get -13 and added to get -12


You can solve this using algebra by letting the two numbers be $a$ and $b,$ and then generating two equations by making their sum be -12 and their product be -13. You can then solve the pair of equations foe $a$ and $b.$ I would however try solving it by just using your number sense.

Suppose the two numbers are integers. What are two integers whose product is -13? Is their sum -12? If so you are done. If not find two other integers whose product is -13.


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