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 Topic: counting
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Macy's coin collection 2019-01-30
From Sariah:
Macy's coin collection has 2 pennies for every nickel. If she has 60 coins that are pennies or nickels, how many nickels does she have?
Strings of characters 2015-12-28
From Ali:
If I have an app and offer a two, three and four digits name and it can be only number, letters or both?
I want to know how many options will I have for each?
For example
the two digits: aa, 11, a1 or 1a
the three digits: 111, a2a, 222
the four digits: 1111, 2ge3 or 1234
So if I used all the letters and all the numbers but nothing starts with a zero How can I calculate them separately? Or what's the result for each?
Thank you
Ali

Base 6 2014-09-10
From Amanda:
using base 6, what is the next number after 25? 35? 55? and 455?

I need to be able to show the base 6 material.

Counting in base five using words not digits 2014-01-25
From Randy:
We all know how to count (in the base 10/decimal system) using words not numbers. For example: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, etc. However, in base 5 (for example) how would you count (in words). For sure - in base 5 the number 1 could be "one", the number 2 could be "two". However there seems to be no words to describe base 5 numbers beyond 0,1,2,3 and 4 (and perhaps 10). In base 5 the number 10 is not ten. Rather it is "five". In base 5 what word(s) describe numbers larger than 10? What words are used for 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 30, 44,...etc. Also, consider a man and woman were married in the Gregorian year 1964. If they had an anniversary tomorrow - how long would you say they've been married in base 5 speak? In numbers their Golden Anniversary would note 200 years of marriage in base 5. How would you articulate their years together in base 5? I don't recall seeing verbiage to represent numbers in any system other than the decimal/base 10 system. Do such things exist for other systems?
Possible soccer scores 2012-10-09
From Riaan:
Good day, I would like to know all the possible scores for a set of 5 soccer matches with no more than 5 total goals being scored in any match. Bearing in mind that there are three outcomes to every match. Win, Lose or Draw. Could you please help me with this?

Kind regards
Riaan
South Africa

What is the 6001st digit that Sam wrote? 2011-02-15
From Sarah:
Sam wrote the natural numbers from 1 to 5280 in order. What is the 6001st digit that Sam wrote?
Counting by sevens 2010-04-13
From Larry:
Lee counted by 7's beginning with one of the whole numbers from 1 through 7, until Lee passed 1000. If Lee counted three of the following numbers, which number did Lee NOT count?

a. 107
b. 184
c. 534
d. 641

Answered by Robert Dawson and Penny Nom.
Why is the difference between british and american counting? 2008-12-15
Why is the difference between british and american counting?
Example 1 Billion american = 1,000,000,000 but,
1 Billion British = 1,000,000,000,000

Answered by Robert Dawson and Harley Weston.
Aboriginal number groupings 2008-09-04
From Barbara:
Our current place value system is based on the notion of 10s. Did Aborginal people use a similar system or did they group numbers differently?
How many cubes have one face painted red? 2007-11-27
From Ashutosh:
A rectangular block measuring 10 units by 8 units by 6 units is made up of cubes measuring 1 unit on a side. The base of the block is 10 units by 8 units. The outside of the block other than the base is painted red. How many of the unit cubes have exactly one face painted red?
Answered by Stephen La Rocque and Penny Nom.
Segments on a line 2007-09-10
From Cathy:
This question was on my daughter's geometry assignment. Write a general rule of formula for finding the number of segments that can be named by a given number of points on a line. For example, 2 points on a line = 1 line segment; 3 points on a line = 3 segments; 5 points on a line = 10 segments.
Four digit numbers with at least one three 2007-08-15
From Alberto:
How many four-digit numbers are there which contain at least one digit 3?
How many diagonals does a polygon have? 2007-07-18
From Edna:
how do you find the numbers of diagonals of a polygons?
Counting squares 2007-05-12
From Bridget:
Explain how many squares there are on a board measuring 4 by 4 units,
Answered by Stephen La Rocque and Penny Nom.
Choosing a bicycle 2007-03-28
From Jackie:
A specific brand of bike comes in two frames, for males or females. Each frame comes in a choice of two colors, red and blue, and with a choice of three seats, soft, medium, and hard.
a) Use the counting principle to determine the number of different arrangements of bicycles that are possible.
b) Construct a tree diagram illustrating all the different arrangements of bicycles that are possible.
c) List the sample space.

Six digit numbers 2007-02-09
From marisa:
how many six digit numbers can you write using the digits 0 and 1 as many times as possible?
How many sequences are possible? 2006-10-28
From Sam:
A fair eight-faced die with faces numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 is tossed six times and the sequence of numbers is recorded. How many sequences are possible?
Math and using fingers 2006-10-26
From Portia:
Should students be allowed to use their fingers to learn math and why
A remainder of 1 2006-09-13
From Juan:
What is the smallest counting number which when divided by any of the numbers 2,3,4,5,6,,7,8,9 and 10, leaves a remainder of 1?
Answered by Paul Betts and Claude Tardif.
Four digit numbers 2006-03-25
From Kenvin:
i was wondering how many possibilities is there for a four digit number with the same first two numbers and the last two is not one of the first with numbers 1-9
Five digit numbers 2006-03-25
From Tony:
Can someone tell me how many unique five digit numbers can be generated using 0-9?
Answered by Stephen La Rocque and Penny Nom.
Counting digits 2006-01-30
From Cynthia:
I would like to know the easiest way to calculate the total numbers of digits used by a printer to number the pages of a book from 1 to 250.
More on the origin of integers 2005-12-20
From A student:
have a math extra credit project and we have to go online and look up the origin of integers and I can't find it anywhere do you know??????
5 digit numbers that include 5 and exclude 8 2005-11-04
From Paul:
figure out how many 5 digit numbers are there that include the digit 5 and exclude the digit 8. show me how to do get to the answer. (23816)
Divisibility by each of the first ten counting numbers 2005-10-17
From Simon:
determine smallest positive integer that is divisible by each of the first ten counting numbers
Can one place 15 integers around a circle... 2005-08-20
From Hernan:
Can one place 15 integers around a circle so that the sum of every 4 consecutive numbers is equal either to 1 or 3?
The number of four digit combinations 2005-08-09
From Kevin:
My 12 year old has asked me how to figure out the number of four digit combinations possible using 0 thru 9 without repeating a number?
In how many ways can 12 different fruits be distributed 2005-06-13
From Sapta:
In how many ways can 12 different fruits be distributed among 3 boys so that each receives at least 1 fruit?
From Angela:
I have a 6 digit answer that is comprised of only 4 symbols: a square, a circle, a triangle, and an X. How many possible solutions are there and how is the best way to find out what ALL the solutions are?
There are 4 contestants in a bicycle race. 2005-01-05
From Robert:
There are 4 contestants in a bicycle race. In how many different orders can they cross the finish line?
Six digit numbers with at least one 7 2004-12-27
How many six-digit numbers contain at least one 7 in their decimal expansion?
Visitor wins or home wins 2004-09-29
I have a math question i am stumped on for one of my classes. The question states that there are 14 baseball games with 2 possible outcomes for each game, visitor win or home win. How many different total combinations are possible from the 14 games?
Baseball games 2004-03-14
From Fabian:
Let's say I have 12 different Baseball games. There is one of only 2 possible outcomes for each of the 12 games. How would I fugure out how many combinations there are for the 12 games and for 11,10, and so fourth.
Pairing boys and girls 2004-02-01
From Terri:
Suppose 7 boys and 7 girls are assigned to work in pairs of one boy and one girl. Explain what equation can be used and how you would use a simpler problem to solve these types of questions.
Six letter words 2004-01-17
From Debora:
An anthropologist discovers an isolated tribe whose written alphabet contains only six letters (call the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F). The tribe has a taboo against using the same letter twice in the same word. It's never done. If each different sequence of letters constitutes a different work in the language, what is the maximum number of six- letter words that the language can employ?
Chisenbop 2003-11-06
From Jaclyn:
Hi there i was wondering if you would have any information on "counting on your fingers" or " Chisabop".
nine digit numbers 2003-07-23
From John:
With a nine digit number, with each of the nine digits having a possibility of 10 different numbers then what is the total number of possible mathematical variations in the nine digit number. i.e. Social Security numbers have nine digits and if each of the nine digits have a possibility of being any one of ten numbers, i.e. 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Then what is the formula to calculate the maximum possible number of variations in this nine digit number and what is the mathematical maximum possible number of variations of this nine digit number?
Mary typed a six digit number 2003-03-06
From Pillar:
Mary typed a six digit number, but the two 1's did not show. What appeared instead was 2002. How many different six-digit numbers could she have typed?
The number of possible outcomes with 8 games 2003-02-21
From Gianni:
If 8 basketball games being played(no ties), which means a total of 16 teams, what are the total number of possible outcomes that can occur.
6 digit numbers from 0,0,2,2,4,4 2003-01-23
From Amanda:
How many 6 digit numbers can you make from the numbers 0,0,2,2,4,4, giving that 0 cannot come first. The number has to contain 2 twos, 2 fours, and 2 zeros.
Answered by Penny Nom and Claude Tardif.
A penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, and a loonie 2003-01-21
From Blaine:
I have 5 coins: a penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, and a loonie. How many different amounts of money could I pay using any combination of these coins?
Combinations of 1,2,3,...,10 2002-11-27
From Gord:
If I had the numbers from 1-10 how many different combinations would i have.....would it be 100....since that is 10 squared.
The horse race 2002-11-19
From Pat:
The Horse Race Three horses run a race. In how many different ways can the three horses finish the race if ties are allowed?
Chisanbop 2002-11-07
From Paul:
I'm trying to find the book/books that explain this system? I have one small book that explains the very beginning of the system, but covers only about 10 to 20%. I'v tried several book sellers and have had no luck.
How many empty seats are there? 2002-10-29
From Ronnie:
Three new students arrived in class. Teacher says there are 210 ways you can set. How many empty seats are there in the classroom? After new student are assigned seats, how many empty seats will remain?
Tree diagrams 2002-10-12
From Denean:
1. For lunch, students can choose juice or milk; hamburger or pizza; and a banana or apple. How many lunch combinations can the students make?

2. In an experiment, Monty can use paper towels or cloth. He can choose red, green, or yellow food coloring. How many combinations are there?

How many dominoes? 2002-09-13
From A student:
Dominoes are split into two halves. If you were allowed up to 6 dots on each half, how many options of dominoes could you get?
Social security numbers 2002-09-06
From Chris:
How many different number combinations are there for the social security system? We know that there are only a certain ammount of combinations available and the current US population is at 281 million. The number system should include as many nine digit combinations as possible using the numbers 0-9 in multiple different spots.
Parallelograms 2002-08-21
From Moorthy:
11 parallel lines are intersected by another 9 parallel lines.Then how many parallelograms are formed?
Combination locks 2002-08-17
From John:
How many combinations of three number codes can occur with a standard combination lock? The range of possible numbers is 0-39 which allows 40 different possible choices each turn of the dial. Each combination requires exactly three numbers (i.e. three turns of the dial). E.g. 35-40-5. Allow for reuse of the same number three times e.g.10-10-10. I don't think there is any preference shown for certain number combinations. Can you explain how the total is derived? Someone at the YMCA this week put this question to me and I gave an answer but I am not sure I am right--so I have come to you.
Musical Scales 2002-07-24
From Terence:
Given that there are 12 notes in a musical octave, what is the maximum number of musical scales possible within that octave, if each scale has a minimum of 5 notes and a maximum of 9 and we start all the scales from the same note?

In case you don't know anything about music, a scale is a progression of notes where you start on a specific note and end on that same note an octave higher. There are twelve different notes between these two similar notes. Which notes you choose to play determine the sound of the scale. Anything less than five notes would not make for a very interesting scale. Anything more than nine and you would be playing almost 'every' note in the scale, not leaving much room for distinction in how you organize these notes.

I assume you first have to figure out the maximum number of variations possible in a 5-note scale (with 12 notes at your disposal). Then do the same for a 6-note scale, then a 7-note, then an 8-note, and so on. Then add up the results. How to find this maximum number of variations for each scale size though is what I don't know.

Counting 2002-06-21
From Rachel:
How many different numbers of 2 different digits each can be formed using the digits (1,3,5,7,9)?

How many triangles are formed by the vertical of a regular hexagon?

A popular television game show 2002-05-19
From Amrita:
On a popular television game show, contestant must first answer a question by placing 4 given events in ascending or desending order in the quickest time.

(a) if a contestant does not know how any of the events should be arranged, how many different ways could the question be answered?

(b)a contestant has to arrange the events that correspond to A, B, C, and D. one contestant is positive that event D follows directly after avent B, but does not know about the other s. how many different ways could this contestant arrange the letters A, B, C, and D, list the possibility

A ski trip 2002-05-10
From Navi:
A ski trip at the school has been arranged. there are 30 students that have paid for the trip and 6 parents that have volunteered to chaperone. to transport the students and parents easily, they are to be divided into two group. one group has 10 students and 2 parents, and the other group has 20 students and 4 parents.

(a) How many different group of 10 students can be formed?

(b) How many different groups consistinmg of 10 students and 2 parents are possible?

(c) kelly is one of the students going on the ski trip, and kelly's mother volunteered to be one of the chaperones. kelly's mother would prefer to be in the smaller group and not in the same group as kelly. if this wish is honoured, how many ways can the smaller group and its chaperones be chosen?

Designing a ballot 2002-04-26
From Kelley:
I want to design a ballot for four elections. Actually all the candidate races are on 1 ballot. I need to know how many different ballot styles would be needed for all of the candidates to be in each rotation an equal number of times.

For example:

• A,B,C & D are running for mayor

• E,F,G & H are running for congress

• I,J & K are running for senate

• L,M & N are running for governor

They are all on the same ballot. But in each race their name (for instance A) has to be in the #1 rotation, #2 rotation, #3 rotation, and #4 rotation for his race on this ballot an equal number of times as B,C and D.

The same goes for the other candidates for their perspective races.

How many total ballot styles will there be?

How many different account numbers are possible? 2002-04-18
From Andrene:
how many different account numbers are possible if the account numbers consist of a letter of the alphabet, followed by five numerical digits, and followed by another letter.
450 students 2001-12-19
From Jessie:
My teacher told me that the number of ways of lining up the 450 students in our school is larger than the number of atoms in the universe. Is this right?

This question came to Good Question, a regular feature on the CBC Morning Edition radio show in Saskatchewan.

Answered by Denis Hanson and Harley Weston.
A health club 2001-11-25
From Maria:
A health club with a membership of 650 people operates a running track and an indoor swimming pool. A survey of the membership indicates that 68% use the running track, 44% use the swimming pool, and 8% use neither. If a member is chosen at random, what is the prbability that the member uses:

a) Both the track and the pool?

b) Only the track?

Counting CD's 2001-11-06
From Jason:
An older brother said to his younger brother, "Give me 8 of your CDs, then I will have twice as many as you." The younger brother replied, "No, you give me 8 of yours instead, and then we'll have an equal number." How many CDs does each boy have?
Free pamphlets 2001-10-24
From Salman:
a travel agency has limited number of six different free pamphlets about the beetle islands. the agent tells you to take any that you want, but not more than two of any kind. Assuming that you take at least one pamphlet, how many choices could you make
Danging couples 2001-06-06
From Danielle:
How many boy-girl dancing couples could be formed if 85 boys and 102 girls attend a school dance?
Four digit numbers from 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 2001-05-31
From Katie:
Okay.......here's my question...how many different ways can you form a four digit number out of these digits..1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8? This is how my teacher said to do this.... 8*8, 7*7,6*6,5*5,4*4,3*3,2*2,1*1. then she said to add up the products and to multiply by 7. is this correct, and if not how can you figure this out.
Answered by Penny Nom and Claude Tardif.
A 6 character field 2001-05-16
From A parent:
I have a 6 character field that can use any combination of alpha-numeric characters (A-Z, 0-9). How many total combinations are possible?
Dominos 2001-04-28
From Mark:
A standard dominoe set consists of 28 pieces, from double-zero to double-six

1. Is it possible to arrange all those pieces in a straight line in such a way that the dots of any pair of adjacent pieces match? Please include picture

2. Is it possible to arrange them in a circle and still meet the conditions in 1?

Choosing a car 2001-04-28
From Ashley:
THE CAR DEALERSHIP IN TOWN OFFERS 32 DIFFERENT MODELS OF VIHICLES.EACH MODEL HAS A CHOICE OF EIGHT INTERIOR COLORS,EIGHT EXTERIOR COLORS,AND ALSO THE OPTION OF AUTOMATIC OR MANUAL TRANSMISSION. HOW MANY COMBINATIONS ARE POSSIBLE?
Answered by Penny Nom and Andrei Volodin.
Four crayons 2001-01-10
From Neyra Espinoza:
You have four crayons (red, blue, yellow, green). If you line them up, how many different combinations can you get?
From Matt:
In a standard deck of 52 card how many would you have to draw (without looking at them) to be absolutely certain that you had 5 spades?
Permutations vs. combinations 2000-11-20
From Ashleigh:
How do you tell whether the problem is a permutation or a combination?
Two problems 2000-11-02
From Michael:
Question:
I mistakenly divided a number by 5 when I should have multiplied by 5. FInd my percent of error.

Next Question:
How many odd numbers are between 10 and 9,999 from the digits 0-9 if each digit is used once per number.

Tapes and CD's 2000-10-22
From Arnold:
Nicole has 25 CDs and tapes altogether. When she tries to pair them up, she has 4 CDs left over. How many tapes does Nicole have?
Probability of a square 2000-09-18
From Nick:
What is the probability that four different points chosen at random from the fifteen equally-spaced points shown are the vertices of a square? I need to have my answer expressed as a common fraction. Help! I don't know how to write it.

` . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . `

10,000! 2000-07-21
From Lauren:
Hi I was just wondering if you could tell me how many zeros are in 100,000! (factorial.)
Six letter words 2000-05-15
From Karl Freitag:
An anthroplogist discovers an isolated tribe whose written alphabet contains only six letters (call the letters A,B,C,D,E, and F). The tribe has a taboo against using the same letter twice in the same word. It is never done. If each different sequence of letters constitutes a different word in the language, what is the maximum number of six-letter words that the language can employ?
Paying with silver 2000-04-26
From Luther Jackson:
A silver prospector is unable to pay his March rent in advance. He owned a bar of pure silver, 31 inches long, so he made the following arrangement with his landlady. He would cut the bar, he said into smaller pieces. On the first day of March he would give her and inch of the bar, and on each succeeding day he would add another inch to her amount of silver. She would keep this silver as security. At the end of the month, when the prospector expected to be able to pay his rent in full, she would return the pieces to him.
.
.
.

Answered by Claude Tardif and Penny Nom.
Question regarding Combinations and permutations 2000-04-19
From Paul Stoner :
I am a programmer and I have a quick question. I have 5 criteria which will either be true or false. If a criterion is true it returns its ordinal representation, if false it returns 0. I then combine these results to determine where to go in my program. My question is: How can I figure out the number of combinations I will need?
Hats, jackets and gloves 2000-03-30
From Max:
Find the one that does not belong 66 333 99 111 88

also if you have 3 hats and 3 jackets and 3 gloves, how many different combinations of a hat and a jacket and gloves can you wear?
Answered by Claude Tardif and Penny Nom.

Six digit numbers using 1,2,5,6,7, and 9 2000-03-20
From Rachel:
How many different six-digit numbers can you make using the digits 1,2,5,6,7, and 9? How many of these six digit numbers are divisible by six?
Answered by Claude Tardif and Denis Hanson.
Party favors 2000-02-22
From Krystina Fernandez:
Luanne was making party favors for her little sister's birthday party. Each party favor was in the shape of a cube. Luanne had pink and purple paint to paint the cubes and she could paint each face only solid pink or solid purple (no dots,stripes,ect.).For example, one cube may be all purple, another may have two purple faces and four pink faces. Her little sister wanted to have a different cube for each guest.(A cube is not considered different if it can be turned so that all it's sides match the corresponding sides of another cube.)How many different cubes was it possible for Luanne to make?
Change for a dollar 2000-02-16
From Rachelle:
What is the least positive number of coins that is impossible to give out change for a dollar? It is higher than 50 i know and you can us dimes, nickels, pennies, quarters, 50 cent pieaces and silver dollars.
Ten stools 2000-02-06
From Haim:
In a cafe with ten stools, three customers want to be seated, so that no two are next to each other. How many ways can this be done? Do not consider it to be a separate seating if two customers switch seats.
Answered by Denis Hanson and Walter Whiteley.
Phone Number Possibilities 2000-01-09
From Hamilton Weston:
How do phone companies arrive at the possible number of phone numbers that can be generated for customers?
Going to the movies 1999-10-21
From Gayla Werry:
You have \$1.00 to take 100 people to the movies. It costs: 1 cent for 10 children, 3 cents for each woman, 5 cents for each man. You have to take at least one of each category of people. Your answer has to add up to exactly 100 people and exactly \$1.00. How many men, women, and children can you take?
How many squares are on a chessboard? 1999-10-20
From Tchilco:
How many squares are on a chessboard?
Answered by Penny Nom and Claude Tardif.
towers of cubes 1999-10-05
From Sanker:
I need help to solve this Rules for bulding towers of cubes
 rule 1 The number of cubes on the bottom layer is always one less than the number of squares on the grid rule 2 Each new layer is made with one cube less than the layer underneath it.
1. Investigate how many different arrangements there are of 4 cubes on top of 5 cubes on a two by three grid

2. investigate the number of different arrangements of six cubes on top of seven cubes on a two by four grid

3. investigate the relation between the number of arrangements of cubes and the size of the grid
• when there are two layers of cubes
• when there are more than two layers of cubes

Numbers with the digit 2 in 1...1000 1999-09-20
From Jessica:
Is there a trick to finding out how many numbers containing the digit two is there from 1 to 1000?
Dividing a Circle 1999-04-12
From Mike Kenedy:
I am having trouble with a homework question for bonus marks. A Circle is continually divided by lines that do not intersect the center so that they produce the most pieces of circle. For example
• 1 line divides the circle into 2.
• 2 into 4.
• 3, however into 7.
• 4 into11
• 5 into 16
• 6 into 22
• 7 into 29
• 8 into 37
• etc...
I am stumped and cannot figure out the equation, though I'm sure it involves squares. Can you help?

Four Corners Maths Problem 1999-02-16
From Helen Williams:
I am currently a student teacher in the UK and I have to write a 1000 word report on the following maths problem which I am completely stuck on! PLease HELP!! Choose and 3 by 3 section of the hundred square. Add the total of the four corners. How many different groups of four numbers can you find that add up to that number? eg,
 1 2 3 11 12 13 21 22 23
Total of 4 corners add up to 48.

Adding 2, 13, 22, 11 also make 48 etc..

How many different groups of 4 numbers would add up to 48?

How would these results compare with thoses obtained from a 3 by 3 square in which the numbers are consective? eg,
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

From John:
My daughter is in grade 4 and her math teacher has asked her to write out the number 1 to 10,000. She is currently at 4567 and is sick of it. When I complained that this was not a usefull exercise she said that the Ministry of Education curriculum requires this and gave a photocopy of the page. It states: "read and write whole number to 10,000 in standard, expanded, and written forms (eg., 9367=9000+300+60+7 = nine thousand three hundred sixty-seven). Has the teacher interpreted this the wrong way?

Thanks John
PS. Do you have a web address for Ontario Math and Science Teachers organization?

Money and Counting 1999-02-03
From Deborah Goodman:
I am looking for ways to tutor my daughter in money counting and handwriting skills.
A handshake problem 1999-01-05
From Nick Lam:
There are 40 people at a party. 1 host couple, a mom and her daughter. There are 19 other guest couples, composed of moms and their daughters. The Host couple shakes hands with everyone except each other. Each guest mom shakes hands with everyone but their own daughter. Each guest daughter shakes hands with everyone except their own mom. A hand shake between two people is considered to be one handshake. HOW MANY HANDSHAKES ARE THERE?
Three dice 1998-11-17
From Ryan Allinson:
Rolling three regular dice how many different ways could a sum of 10 be rolled?

Hope you can help. Can you please show me how this is done?

Social Security Numbers 1998-07-07
From Valerie Lucas:
How many social security numbers are possible?

The Birthday Problem 1998-06-12
From Josh Skolnick:
if you are at a party what is the least amount of people that have to be there to have at least a 50% chance of having 2 people with the same birthday? and how do you get the answer thank you in advance

josh

From Ian Sutherland:
My 7-year-old son, in Grade 2, constantly uses his fingers to count.  I know for now this is a useful crutch but at what point should he stop?