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 Post subject: Algebra questionPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:08 pm

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 154

"In 5 years time, John's dog will be x years old. How old was his dog 6 years ago?"

Do you work backwards from in 5 years time, ie x = (-5)+(-6) i.e. x = -11

Am I barking up completely the wrong tree, it seems particularly hard for 10 year olds?

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 Post subject: Re: Algebra questionPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:41 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
I always find diagrams really useful with this sort of question

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 Post subject: Re: Algebra questionPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:49 pm

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Totally agree with Yoyo.

Draw a line with now in approx the middle, then put on the other info at the ends, enabling DC to see the 11.

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 Post subject: Re: Algebra questionPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:17 pm

Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:07 pm
Posts: 109
[quote="enema" Do you work backwards from in 5 years time, ie x = (-5)+(-6) i.e. x = -11 ..... Am I barking up completely the wrong tree .....?[/quote] Right tree but wrong direction. In fact, "x" is as stated in the question i.e. now plus 5 not "-11". The age of the dog 6 years ago was x-11.

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 Post subject: Re: Algebra questionPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:08 pm

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:46 am
Posts: 188
I agree with equilibro.

The question is not asking for an equation (with an = sign), but for an expression in terms of x. So, six years ago the age was x-11. If you are then given more information such as "the dog was two 5 years ago," you can then put this into an equation to find x.

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 Post subject: Re: Algebra questionPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:52 pm

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:45 pm
Posts: 154
Thank you for all the replies, they are very appreciated, especially as each post has broken down the answer even further

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