math

In four years Cathy's cat Byte will be three fourths as old as Cathy will be. Four years ago, Byte was only half as old as Cathy was. How old are Cathy and her cat?

I am struggling to solve this two variable word problem.

please help.

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asked by jason
  1. C be Cathy's age now and B be Byte's age now.
    B+4 = (3/4) (C+4) = (3/4) C + 3
    B-4 = (1/2) (C-4) = (1/2) C - 2

    Subtract the two equations (left and right sides separately)
    8 = (1/4) C + 5
    C/4 = 3
    C = 12
    Use either of the first equations to get B.

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    posted by drwls
  2. in B+4 = (3/4) (C+4) = (3/4) C + 3
    B-4 = (1/2) (C-4) = (1/2) C - 2

    may I ask where you got the +3 and -2?

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    posted by jason
  3. the +3 comes from...
    (3/4)*(c+4)
    which is another way of saying
    ((3/4)*c)+(3/4*4)
    or
    3/4C+(12/4)
    3/4C+3

    The -2 comes from multiplying 1/2 *(c-4) which is 1/2C-4/2 or simply 1/2c-2

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    posted by eg
  4. the +3 comes from...
    (3/4)*(c+4)
    which is another way of saying
    ((3/4)*c)+(3/4*4)
    or
    3/4C+(12/4)
    3/4C+3

    The -2 comes from multiplying 1/2 *(c-4) which is 1/2C-4/2 or simply 1/2c-2

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    posted by eg
  5. these questions become easy if you organize your data in a chart form

    ------------Byte-----Cathy

    Age now ---- b ------ c
    in 4 yrs -- b+4 ---- c+4
    4 yrs ago-- b-4 ---- c-4

    so from second line: b+4 = 3/4(c+4)
    from third line: b-4 = 1/2(c-4)

    These two equations are now easy to simplify and solve giving you the answer provided by drwls above

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    posted by Reiny

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