When solving age problems, you need to represent the following in terms of a variable: - the present ages of the

people or things involved - the age, at the other specified time, of the people or things involved Then, form an equation based on these representations. Here are some examples: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Cary is 9 years older than Dan. In 7 years, the sum of their ages will equal 93. Find both of their ages now. x = Dan's age now x + 9 = Cary's age now {Cary is 9 yrs older than Dan} x + 7 = Dan's age in 7 years x + 16 = Cary's age in 7 years x + 7 + x + 16 = 93 {in seven years the sum of their ages will be 93} 2x + 23 = 93 {combined like terms} 2x = 70 {subtracted 23 from both sides} x = 35 {divided both sides by 35} x + 9 = 44 {substituted 35, in for x, into x + 9} Dan is 35 Cary is 44 www.algebrahouse.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Fred is 4 times as old as his niece, Selma. Ten years from now, he will be twice as old as she will be. How old is each now? x = Selma's age now 4x = Fred's age now {Fred is 4 times as old as Selma} x + 10 = Selma's age in 10 years 4x + 10 = Fred's age in 10 years 4x + 10 = 2(x + 10) {his age in 10 yrs is twice her age in 10 years} 4x + 10 = 2x + 20 {used distributive property} 2x + 10 = 20 {subtracted 2x from both sides} 2x = 10 {subtracted 10 from both sides} x = 5 {divided both sides by 2} 4x = 20 {substituted 5, in for x, into 4x} Selma is 5 now Fred is 20 now

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