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Grade 9

Number patterns, graphs, equations,

Statistics and probability

Module 16

Solving simple problems by forming and solving equations


To solve simple problems by forming and solving equations

[LO 2.2, 2.4]

How do we solve this problem?

Jamie’s dad is four times as old as Jamie. His father is 40. How old is Jamie?

a) We could think really hard, and try a few guesses. For instance: If Jamie is 1 year old, then his father must be 4. Not correct. What about 2 years old? And so on.

b) Make a table: Complete the empty spaces. Does this help?

Age 1 2 3 4
Age x 4 4 8 12 28 40

c) Draw a flow diagram: Is this useful?

  • As you can see, there is not much difference between the three methods – you can use any one that suits you. But they are not really very useful, because you have to do a lot of guessing. If the problems become very difficult, these methods become impossible to use.
  • So we will use a better way.
  • The way to do this problem is to make an equation from the information, and then to solve the equation and use the solution to write down an answer.
  • Making equations is not very easy to start with, but it gets a lot easier with practice.
  • An equation needs an equal sign as well as a variable (we usually use x , but it can be any letter).

Jamie’s dad is four times as old as Jamie. If his father is 40, how old is Jamie?

  • This is the general form of the equation:
  • Four times Jamie’s age = father’s age, which is 40.
  • The question asks Jamie’s age; so we let Jamie’s age be x .
  • Now the equation becomes: 4 x = 40
  • and this asks us to find a number which gives 40 when multiplied by 4. If we divide 40 by 4, we get 10. So x must be 10, and therefore Jamie is ten years old. It is easy to see that this answer is correct.

A problem for you to do: Leon has 48 marbles. Amy has only a third as many as Leon; how many does she have? Use the last method.

The way you should set out your answer is:

State what the variable represents.

  • Write an equation using the variable.
  • Solve the equation.
  • Write down the solution, namely what the value of the variable is.
  • Write down the answer to the problem in words.

Please note that the first and last steps are in ordinary words, and the middle step(s) in algebra.

E x ercise:

Find the answers to the following problems:

1. Mr Jacobs has R295,45 in his pocket. Mrs Jacobs has R55,30 less than her husband in her purse. How much money does she have in her purse?

2. I think of a number. I multiply it by 7 and divide the answer by three. I get 49. What was the number I first thought of? Remember to check your answer.

3. In America Joanie buys an item that is marked $5,75. She works out that it would be R41,69 when she converts the dollars to rand. What is the rand/dollar exchange rate she used?


To develop effective methods for solving more complicated equations

[LO 2.3, 2.4]

  • We will be doing more word problems, but we have to concentrate more on the algebra in our solutions. Make sure that you know e x actly what each of the steps means and why it is done.
  • Some of the following problems are followed by the solutions. But try to find the answer without looking ahead. Then compare your answer and the way you set it out with the answer.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Mathematics grade 9. OpenStax CNX. Sep 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11056/1.1
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