## Confusing Word Problem

Math help on Numerator, Denominator, Common Denominator, Addition of fractions, Multiplication of fractions, Division of fractions, Percents, Rational numbers, Solving an Equation, Graphic solutions, Representation of solutions with Calculators (Casio, Texas, etc ...), Equalities, Inequalities, how to Factor and Expand expressions, Learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers (integers) on My Math Forum.

### Confusing Word Problem

I don’t know if my mind is blanking out, or I’m just plain stupid. Here is the word problem that I can’t seem to understand:

While organizing his bookshelf, Michael noticed that he had eight more science-fiction novels than spy novels. If he owns 26 science-fiction novels and spy novels, how many of each type of novel does he own? Explain how you found your solution.

Thanks if you help!
YoungMoustache
Newcomer

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:56 pm

### Re: Confusing Word Problem

Let x be the number of sci-fi novels and y be the number of spy novels.

From the statement "he had eight more science-fiction novels than spy novels" we may write:

$x=y+8$

From the statement "he owns 26 science-fiction novels and spy novels" we may write:

$x+y=26$

If we substitute for x from the first equation into the second, we have:

$y+8+y=26$

$2y=18$

$y=9$

Now, using the first equation, and substituting the value we found for y into it, we find:

$x=9+8=17$

Thus, we find that Michael has 17 sci-fi novels and 9 spy novels.
Living in the pools, They soon forget about the sea...— Rush, "Natural Science" (1980)

MarkFL
Global Moderator

Posts: 11318
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:14 am
Location: St. Augustine, FL., U.S.A.'s oldest city