# How do I set up the correct equations for this age word problem?

• harpazo
In summary, nycmathguy is a user who posts questions that seem to be difficult for math students to answer.
harpazo
Homework Statement
Set up the correct system of equations in two unknowns.
Relevant Equations
P = 1 + W(11)
P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)
In January of the year 2000, I was one more than eleven times as old as my son Will. In January of 2009, I was seven more than three times as old as him. Note: Do NOT solve. Set up the correct system of equations.

This one can easily throw someone struggling with age word problems into a loop.

Let P = parent

Let W = Will

I think the equations look like this:

P = 1 + W(11)

2009 > 2000 by 9.

P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)

The two equations are

P = 1 + W(11)
P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)

MidgetDwarf and SammyS
harpazo said:
Homework Statement:: Set up the correct system of equations in two unknowns.
Relevant Equations:: P = 1 + W(11)
P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)

In January of the year 2000, I was one more than eleven times as old as my son Will. In January of 2009, I was seven more than three times as old as him. Note: Do NOT solve. Set up the correct system of equations.

This one can easily throw someone struggling with age word problems into a loop.

Let P = parent

Let W = Will

I think the equations look like this:

P = 1 + W(11)

2009 > 2000 by 9.

P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)

The two equations are

P = 1 + W(11)
P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)
Looks OK, and leads to the correct answers (which aren't required here), but you should probably combine terms to get the equations as simple as possible.
Also, it's less confusing to write 11W than W(11), as the latter looks like a function expression.

BTW, even though the problem doesn't ask you to solve the system, you can verify that your setup is correct by going ahead and solving the system. If your solution matches the given information, you can be pretty sure that your setup is correct.

By matching the given info, I mean that the ages of Will and his father match both at the start (in 2000) and 9 years later, in 2009.

Delta2
I will continue to find their ages on paper.

PeroK said:
What the heck is this?

Delta2
It looks good to me and I like that your equations are as close as you can get to a direct translation of the words in the word problem. After you write it down this way, you can mess around with the equations to solve and simplify them. But start with a direct translation, as you have.

Delta2 and harpazo
harpazo said:
Homework Statement:: Set up the correct system of equations in two unknowns.
Relevant Equations:: P = 1 + W(11)
P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)

In January of the year 2000, I was one more than eleven times as old as my son Will. In January of 2009, I was seven more than three times as old as him. Note: Do NOT solve. Set up the correct system of equations.

This one can easily throw someone struggling with age word problems into a loop.

Let P = parent

Let W = Will

I think the equations look like this:

P = 1 + W(11)

2009 > 2000 by 9.

P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)

The two equations are

P = 1 + W(11)
P + 9 = 7 + 3(W + 9)
The analysis and created equations are good. Each variable is set as for year 2000.

harpazo said:
What the heck is this?
It's a painting called The Scream, by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. It symbolises my reaction when I realized you are nycmathguy in disguise.

Last edited:
FactChecker, MidgetDwarf, Delta2 and 1 other person
@PeroK seems to me you seeing ghosts again, when was it that you thought a user was a bot while in fact he wasn't...

PeroK said:
Just lmao. just lmao. Thank you for giving a chuckle at a least expected place.

Delta2
PeroK said:
It's a painting called The Scream, by Norwegian artist Edvard Grieg. It symbolises my reaction when I realized you are nycmathguy in disguise.
What is nycmathguy? Is this a movie?

harpazo said:
What is nycmathguy?

SammyS, jbriggs444 and Delta2

## 1. How do I determine the unknown variable in an age word problem?

The first step in setting up equations for an age word problem is to identify the unknown variable. This can usually be found by carefully reading the problem and looking for clues, such as phrases like "in X years" or "X years ago". Once the unknown variable is determined, it can be represented by a letter, such as "x" or "y".

## 2. What information do I need to include in my equations for an age word problem?

To set up the correct equations for an age word problem, you will need to include the known ages of the individuals involved, as well as any information about how their ages will change over time. This may include phrases like "twice as old as" or "half the age of". It is important to carefully read the problem and include all relevant information in your equations.

## 3. How do I know if I need one or multiple equations for an age word problem?

The number of equations needed for an age word problem will depend on the complexity of the problem. In general, if there is only one individual whose age is changing, you will only need one equation. However, if there are multiple individuals with different ages, you may need to set up multiple equations to represent the relationships between their ages.

## 4. What should I do if I get stuck on setting up the equations for an age word problem?

If you are having trouble setting up the equations for an age word problem, try breaking the problem down into smaller parts. Start by identifying the unknown variable and then carefully read the problem to determine what information you have and what information you need. You can also try drawing a diagram or making a table to organize the information. If you are still stuck, don't be afraid to ask for help from a classmate, teacher, or tutor.

## 5. How can I check if my equations are correct for an age word problem?

One way to check if your equations are correct for an age word problem is to plug in the given information and see if it makes sense. For example, if the problem states that a person is twice as old as another person, and the first person is 10 years old, then the second person should be 5 years old. If your equations give a different result, then you may need to revise them. You can also check your equations by solving them and seeing if the solution matches the information given in the problem.

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