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I having a hard time with this word problem: A backyard has dimensions 4 and 2/5 yards by 2 and 4/5 yards. What is the area of the backyard in square yards (yd^2)? Do I mulitiply and then simplify?

Yes, you do multiply and then simplify.

To make it easier to multiply, it is better to change the dimensions to decimals, 4.4 and 2.8, respectively.

I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.

Thanks for your help

First, ditch the fractions.
Multiply 4.4 x 2.8 to get the answer in decimal square yards.

The answer is 12.32, in one step.

If you were doing it as fractions, you would have to go through these steps:
22/5 x 14/5 = 308/25 = 12 8/25

Both answers are the same, of course.

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