math word problems
posted by lin .
A ladder is leaning against a building. The distance from the bottom of the ladder to the building is 9 ft less than the length of the ladder.how high up the side of the building is the top of the ladder if that distance is 2 ft less than the length of the ladder? the ladder reaches ___ ft up the wall.

Isn't this an application of the Pythagorean theorem?
(ladder)^2=(height^2 + (base)^2
but ladder=height+2
and base=ladder9 or base=height+7
(h+2)^2=(h^2)+(h+7)^2
solve for h.