posted by Ben on .
Some children were sharing oranges. If each child took 3 oranges, there would be 2 oranges left over. But if each child took 4 oranges, there would be 2 oranges short. How many oranges were there?
Here's how to do it with algebra.
Let x be the number of children and y be the number of oranges that they share. You know two things. They are
3x = y -2
4x = y +2
Subtract the first equation from the last.
x = 4
Now use the first equation to gey y:
12 = y -2
y = 14.
There are 14 oranges for 4 children
You could also do it by guessing the number of kids, starting with 1, then 2 etc. until you get a number that works.