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
------------------------------------------------------------------------------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
------------------------------------------------------------------------------An eagle is 4 times as old as a falcon. Three years ago,

the eagle was 7 times as old as the falcon. Find the
present
age of each bird.
x = falcon's age now
4x = eagle's age now {the eagle is 4 times as old as
falcon}
x - 3 = falcon's age 3 years ago
4x - 3 = eagle's age 3 years ago
4x – 3 = 7(x – 3) {three years ago, eagle was 7 times the
falcon}
4x – 3 = 7x – 21 {used distributive property}
4x = 7x -18 {added 3 to both sides}
-3x = -18 {subtracted 7x from both sides}
x = 6 {divided both sides by -3}
4x = 24 {substituted 6, in for x, into 4x}
falcon is 6 now
eagle is 24 now
------------------------------------------------------------------------------Brenda is 4 years older than Walter, and Carol is twice
as old
as Brenda. Three years ago, the sum of their ages was
35.
How old is each now?
x = Walter's age now
x + 4 = Brenda's age now {Brenda is 4 yrs older than
Walter}
2(x + 4) = 2x + 8 = Carol's age now {Carol is twice as old
as Brenda, used distributive property}
x - 3 = Walter's age 3 years ago {subtracted 3 from x}
x + 1 = Brenda's age 3 years ago {subtracted 3 from x +
4}
2x + 5 = Carol's age 3 years ago {subtracted 3 from 2x +
8}
(x - 3) + (x + 1) + (2x + 5) = 35 {sum of ages, 3 years ago,
was 35}
x - 3 + x + 1 + 2x + 5 = 35 {took out parentheses}
4x + 3 = 35 {combined like terms}
4x = 32 {subtracted 3 from both sides}
x = 8 = Walter now {divided both sides by 4}
x + 4 = 12 = Brenda now {substituted 8, in for x, into x +
4}
2(x + 4) = 24 = Carol now {substituted 8, in for x, into 2(x
+ 4)}
Walter is 8 now
Brenda is 12 now
Carol is 24 now
We can solve this problem using either one or two
variables:

How old is Peter right now? Solution Sharon + 7 = 49 Sharon = 49 . How old is Mary right now? Solution Maria + 5 = 34 Maria = 34 . the sum of the ages of Jose and Pearl will be Correct Answer Your Answer Correct Answer Your Answer 51 Correct Answer 22 9 years from now Cindy will be 57 years old. How old is Karen? Karen 2x 2x + 3 83.61 = 22 Lori x # One-variable solution: We'll let Lori's age be x. 1 In 13 years.Paul + 8 = 2 × (Paul + 8) 85 .29 = 40 # Problem 7 years from now Sharon will be 49 years old.Karen is twice as old as Lori. the sum of their ages will be 42.Paul 77 .16 = 69 Paul = 23 Correct Answer Your Answer 52 Correct Answer 23 Your Answer .7 = 42 Sharon + Peter = 93 42 + Peter = 93 Peter = 93 . and the sum of their ages will be 42. # Problem 5 years from now Maria will be 34 years old. Karen is 24. 1 The current sum of the ages of Maria and Mary is 69. Three years from now.3 = 35 (Jose + 13) + (Pearl + 13) = 83 (35 + 13) + (Pearl + 13) = 83 Pearl + 61 = 83 Pearl = 83 . 2 The current sum of the ages of Sharon and Peter is 93. so we have: (2x + 3) + (x + 3) = 42 3x + 6 = 42 3x = 36 x = 12 If Lori is 12.42 = 51 # Problem 3 years from now Jose will be 38 years old. the sum of the ages 2 of Cindy and Miguel will be 126. How old is Miguel right now? Solution Cindy + 9 = 57 Cindy = 57 . How old is Paul right now? Solution Cindy + 8 = 2 × (Paul + 8) Cindy + Paul = 77 Cindy = 77 . How old is Pearl right now? Solution Jose + 3 = 38 Jose = 38 .5 = 29 Maria + Mary = 69 29 + Mary = 69 Mary = 69 . In 13 years. in three years they will be 15 and 27.74 = 52 # 40 Your Answer Problem Problem 8 years from now Cindy will be twice as old as Paul.Paul = 2 × Paul + 16 85 = 3 × Paul + 16 3 × Paul = 85 . 1 The current sum of the ages of Cindy and Paul is 77.9 = 48 (Cindy + 13) + (Miguel + 13) = 126 (48 + 13) + (Miguel + 13) = 126 Miguel + 74 = 126 Miguel = 126 . We can set up a chart: now in 3 years x+3 The sum of their ages in 3 years will be 42.