It is hard and unfortunately, it just takes practice!
If you are struggling with this concept, then check out the Algebra Class E-course.
Nor is it important whether they owned, or bought, or had the goods in question. What is essential is that the problem is concerned with three quantities, two of which add up to the third one. It appears that the problem belongs to a whole class of similar problems: all problems in that class translate in the mathematical language into equation (1).
Equation (1), in turn, also affords several observations.
// information pieces start with '@', followed by // a single letter from , followed by ": ".
// v - variable - anything that may change on a click // variables must precede all other pieces // f - formulation - word problem with embedded variables.
Every word and number shown in the applet is clickable.
Numbers can be increased or decreased depending on whether you click a little to the right or to the left of their vertical center line.
x = 368x = 8(36) = 2888(x 1) = 8(36 1) = 8(37) = 2968(x 2) = 8(36 2) = 8(38) = 304So, the three consecutive multiples of 8 are 288, 296, and 304.
Four years later the sum of their ages will be 56 years.