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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Translate and solve basic percent equations
  • Solve percent applications
  • Find percent increase and percent decrease
  • Solve simple interest applications
  • Solve applications with discount or mark-up

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

  1. Convert 4.5% to a decimal.
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  2. Convert 0.6 to a percent.
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  3. Round 0.875 to the nearest hundredth.
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  4. Multiply (4.5)(2.38).
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  5. Solve 3.5 = 0.7 n .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  6. Subtract 50 37.45 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .

Translate and solve basic percent equations

We will solve percent equations using the methods we used to solve equations with fractions or decimals. Without the tools of algebra, the best method available to solve percent problems was by setting them up as proportions. Now as an algebra student, you can just translate English sentences into algebraic equations and then solve the equations.

We can use any letter you like as a variable, but it is a good idea to choose a letter that will remind us of what you are looking for. We must be sure to change the given percent to a decimal when we put it in the equation.

Translate and solve: What number is 35% of 90?

Solution

.
Translate into algebra. Let n = the number. .
Remember "of" means multiply, "is" means equals.
Multiply. .
31.5 is 35% of 90
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Translate and solve:

What number is 45% of 80?

36

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Translate and solve:

What number is 55% of 60?

33

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We must be very careful when we translate the words in the next example. The unknown quantity will not be isolated at first, like it was in [link] . We will again use direct translation to write the equation.

Translate and solve: 6.5% of what number is $1.17?

Solution

.
Translate. Let n = the number. .
Multiply. .
Divide both sides by 0.065 and simplify. .
6.5% of $18 is $1.17
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Translate and solve:

7.5% of what number is $1.95?

$26

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Translate and solve:

8.5% of what number is $3.06?

$36

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In the next example, we are looking for the percent.

Translate and solve: 144 is what percent of 96?

Solution

.
Translate into algebra. Let p = the percent. .
Multiply. .
Divide by 96 and simplify. .
Convert to percent. .
144 is 150% of 96

Note that we are asked to find percent, so we must have our final result in percent form.

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Translate and solve:

110 is what percent of 88?

125%

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Translate and solve:

126 is what percent of 72?

175%

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Solve applications of percent

Many applications of percent    —such as tips, sales tax, discounts, and interest—occur in our daily lives. To solve these applications we’ll translate to a basic percent equation, just like those we solved in previous examples. Once we translate the sentence into a percent equation, we know how to solve it.

We will restate the problem solving strategy we used earlier for easy reference.

Use a problem-solving strategy to solve an application.

  1. Read the problem. Make sure all the words and ideas are understood.
  2. Identify what we are looking for.
  3. Name what we are looking for. Choose a variable to represent that quantity.
  4. Translate into an equation. It may be helpful to restate the problem in one sentence with all the important information. Then, translate the English sentence into an algebraic equation.
  5. Solve the equation using good algebra techniques.
  6. Check the answer in the problem and make sure it makes sense.
  7. Answer the question with a complete sentence.

Questions & Answers

hello, I have algebra phobia. Subtracting negative numbers always seem to get me confused.
Alicia Reply
what do you need help in?
Felix
subtracting a negative....is adding!!
Heather
look at the numbers if they have different signs, it's like subtracting....but you keep the sign of the largest number...
Felix
for example.... -19 + 7.... different signs...subtract.... 12 keep the sign of the "largest" number 19 is bigger than 7.... 19 has the negative sign... Therefore, -12 is your answer...
Felix
—12
Niazmohammad
Thanks Felix.l also get confused with signs.
Esther
Thank you for this
Shatey
Bruce drives his car for his job. The equation R=0.575m+42 models the relation between the amount in dollars, R, that he is reimbursed and the number of miles, m, he drives in one day. Find the amount Bruce is reimbursed on a day when he drives 220 miles
John Reply
168.50=R
Heather
john is 5years older than wanjiru.the sum of their years is27years.what is the age of each
achol Reply
46
mustee
j 17 w 11
Joseph
john is 16. wanjiru is 11.
Felix
27-5=22 22÷2=11 11+5=16
Joyce
where's the answers?
Ed Reply
I don't see where the answers are.
Ed
Cindy and Richard leave their dorm in Charleston at the same time. Cindy rides her bicycle north at a speed of 18 miles per hour. Richard rides his bicycle south at a speed of 14 miles per hour. How long will it take them to be 96 miles apart?
Maddy Reply
3
Christopher
18t+14t=96 32t=96 32/96 3
Christopher
show that a^n-b^2n is divisible by a-b
Florence Reply
What does 3 times your weight right now
Cherokee Reply
Use algebra to combine 39×5 and the half sum of travel of 59+30
Cherokee
What is the segment of 13? Explain
Cherokee
my weight is 49. So 3 times is 147
Cherokee
kg to lbs you goin to convert 2.2 or one if the same unit your going to time your body weight by 3. example if my body weight is 210lb. what would be my weight if I was 3 times as much in kg. that's you do 210 x3 = 630lb. then 630 x 2.2= .... hope this helps
tyler
How to convert grams to pounds?
paul
What is the lcm of 340
Kendra Reply
Yes
Cherokee
How many numbers each equal to y must be taken to make 15xy
Malik Reply
15x
Martin
15x
Asamoah
15x
Hugo
1y
Tom
1y x 15y
Tom
find the equation whose roots are 1 and 2
Adda Reply
(x - 2)(x -1)=0 so equation is x^2-x+2=0
Ranu
I believe it's x^2-3x+2
NerdNamedGerg
because the X's multiply by the -2 and the -1 and than combine like terms
NerdNamedGerg
find the equation whose roots are -1 and 4
Adda
Ans = ×^2-3×+2
Gee
find the equation whose roots are -2 and -1
Adda
(×+1)(×-4) = x^2-3×-4
Gee
yeah
Asamoah
Quadratic equations involving factorization
Winner Reply
there's a chatting option in the app wow
Nana
That's cool cool
Nana
Nice to meet you all
Nana
you too.
Joan
😃
Nana
Hey you all there are several Free Apps that can really help you to better solve type Equations.
Debra
Debra, which apps specifically. ..?
Nana
am having a course in elementary algebra ,any recommendations ?
samuel
Samuel Addai, me too at ucc elementary algebra as part of my core subjects in science
Nana
me too as part of my core subjects in R M E
Ken
at ABETIFI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Ken
ok great. Good to know.
Joan
5x + 1/3= 2x + 1/2
sanam
Plz solve this
sanam
5x - 3x = 1/2 - 1/3 2x = 1/6 x = 1/12
Ranu
Thks ranu
sanam
Please help me solve this 10x+14=-2x+38
Erica
the previous equation should be 3x = 1/6 x=1/18
Sriram
for the new one 10x + 2x = 38 - 14
Sriram
12x = 24 x=2
Sriram
10x + 14 = -2x +38 10x + 2x = 38 - 14 12x = 24 divide both sides by the coefficient of x, which is 12 therefore × = 2
vida
a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains ten rupees Express algebraically the result of his transactions
vinaya Reply
a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains 10 rupees Express algebraically the result of his three transactions
vinaya
a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains 10 rupees Express algebraically the result of his three transactions
vinaya
a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains 10 rupees Express algebraically the result of his three transactions
vinaya
Kim is making eight gallons of punch from fruit juice and soda. The fruit juice costs $6.04 per gallon and the soda costs $4.28 per gallon. How much fruit juice and how much soda should she use so that the punch costs $5.71 per gallon?
Mohamed Reply
(a+b)(p+q+r)(b+c)(p+q+r)(c+a) (p+q+r)
muhammad Reply
really
Asamoah
4x-7y=8 2x-7y=1 what is the answer?
Ramil Reply
x=7/2 & y=6/7
Pbp
x=7/2 & y=6/7 use Elimination
Debra
true
bismark
factoriz e
usman
4x-7y=8 X=7/4y+2 and 2x-7y=1 x=7/2y+1/2
Peggie
Ok cool answer peggie
Frank
thanks
Ramil
x=7/2 y=6/7
Asamoah
Thanks , all of you are correct.
Joseph
Practice Key Terms 9

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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
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