Posted by **M.A.** on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 8:16am.

Andy and William work together to build a toy house. It will take William 5 hours and Andy 4 hours, or William 10 hours and Andy 2 hours to finish their work. If William works alone, how many hours will it take to finish his work?

5

10

15

20

Explain how you arrived at the answer.

- math word problem -
**Dr Russ**, Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 10:43am
There are two ways to do this, as a logic problem or as an algebra problem

If it will take William 5 hours and Andy 4 hours, or William 10 hours and Andy 2 hours to finish their work, then each decrease in time by Andy of 2 hours results in 5 more hours of work by William. So if Andy's work goes to zero then there will be 5 more hours of work required by William, so

10h + 5 h = 15 h.

By algebra if we say that the rate of work by William is x and that by Andy is y then

5x+4y=T Total task .....1

10x+2y=T

or

20x+4y=2T ..............2

subtract 1 from 2

15x=T, so it takes William 15 h

- math word problem -
**M.A.**, Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 10:55am
Thank you Dr. Russ. I am so thrilled with your answer. It is the first time I have had an answer that I can truly understand and comprehend, being a math-challenged individual. Thank you sooo much for your careful and complete explanation!

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