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The ratio of the lengths of two pieces of ribbon is 1:3. If 4 ft were cut from each piece, the sum of the new lengths would be 4 ft. How long would each piece be ?

  • Algebra -

    length of original pieces : x and 3x
    length of pieces after 4 ft cut off from each : x-4 and 3x-4

    x-4 + 3x-4 = 4
    4x = 12
    x = 3

    original pieces were 3 ft and 9 ft.

    new pieces: -1 and 5 , whose sum is 4 ?????

    Even though the solution makes sense arithmetically, in reality this is a dumb question.
    how can you cut off 4 ft from a ribbon only 3 ft long?

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