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August 2, 2014

August 2, 2014

Posted by **Sam** on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 9:45am.

If 5 fishermen catch 5 fish in 5 minutes, then the average time it takes each fisherman is 5 minutes to catch one fish. It will take 50 fishermen 5 minutes to catch 50 fish -- at the rate of 1 fish per man per 5 minutes.

You're reasoning is absolutely correct.

We're told

"If 5 fishermen catch 5 fish in 5 minutes, how many minutes will it take 50 fishermen to catch 50 fish?"

There are two separate, but related, items to look at: the expected number of fish each person caught and the expected time it took them to catch a fish.

We're told that 5 people caught 5 fish, but not how many each caught. One person could've caught all 5! However, the expected number of fish each caught is the simple average, or 5 fish per 5 fishermen = 1 fish. The expected time period is the same time interval for each person. The answer to the question is a constant time for each fishermen to catch one fish, or 5 minutes. If the question had been e.g., how long would it take 50 fishermen to catch 100 fish?, then since it takes each 5min/fish, it should take 10min.

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