Posted by mi on .
tom was paid $4.50 per hour for painting a fence and $ 6.50 per hour for mowing grass. He worked 7 hours and earned $39.50. How many hours did it take him to paint the fence/

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George,
the best way to go about this question is trial and error. if he worked 7 hours and made 39.50, then if he works 3 hours painting the fence, and 4 hours mowing the grass then he makes 39.50.
i'm sure you can make equations for it but it's much quicker and easier to go about this question this way. 
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mi,
my 6th grade grandaughter needs an equation. than you.

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mi,
george can you give me some additional help. thanks

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Jen,
x+y=7
4.5x+6.5y=39.5
Multiply the top equation by 4.5 to cancel the x's:
4.5x4.5y=31.5
4.5x+6.5y=39.5
2y=8
y=4
Put that back in the first equation to solve for x. 
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Jen,
You do NOT want to attempt this problem by trial and error.

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George,
I feel i may have stepped on some toes. I am sorry for that. I am not the most intelligent person in the world and I sincerly appoligize.

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Jen,
No need for an apology, George. I was simply saying that it's not the best method. :)