*So his normal pay of 40 × = 0, plus his overtime pay of 12 × = 0 gives us a total of 0 There are 12 girls!*

Check −14: −14(−14 2) = (−14)×(−12) = 168 YES Check 12: 12(12 2) = 12×14 = 168 YES So there are two solutions: -14 and -12 is one, 12 and 14 is the other.

Note: we could have also tried "guess and check": And so L = 8 or −14 There are two solutions to the quadratic equation, but only one of them is possible since the length of the room cannot be negative!

The hardest thing about doing word problems is using the part where you need to take the English words and translate them into mathematics.

Usually, once you get the math equation, you're fine; the actual math involved is often fairly simple.

(And, if you can't think of any meaningful definition, then maybe you need to slow down and think a little more about what's going on in the word problem.) In all cases, don't be shy about using your "real world" knowledge.

## Help Solve Math Word Problems

Sometimes you'll not feel sure of your translation of the English into a mathematical expression or equation. For instance, if you're not sure if you should be dividing or multiplying, try the process each way with regular numbers. You'll be expected to know that a "dozen" is twelve; you may be expected to know that a "score" is twenty.You'll be expected to know the number of days in a year, the number of hours in a day, and other basic units of measure.But figuring out the actual equation can seem nearly impossible. Be advised, however: To learn "how to do" word problems, you will need to practice, practice, practice.The first step to effectively translating and solving word problems is to read the problem entirely.— and, trust me, you don't want to do this to yourself! Certain words indicate certain mathematica operations. But the order in addition doesn't matter, so it's okay to add backwards, because the result will be the same either way.) Also note that order is important in the "quotient/ratio of" and "difference between/of" constructions.If a problems says "the ratio of Some times, you'll be expected to bring your "real world" knowledge to an exercise.For instance, suppose you're told that "Shelby worked eight hours MTTh F and six hours WSat".You would be expected to understand that this meant that she worked eight hours for each of the four days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and six hours for each of the two days Wednesday and Saturday.Probably the greatest source of error, though, is the use of variables without definitions.When you pick a letter to stand for something, write down explicitly what that latter is meant to stand for.

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