#### musiclady420

##### New member

- Joined
- Apr 14, 2018

- Messages
- 3

**Word Problem Help? "Dave and Sandy are frequent flyers with a particular airline...."**

For whatever reason I always have issues with plugging in numbers to word problems. No matter what equation I memorize, I can never figure out where to plug in the numbers?!?!? For example, I know the equation

Rate x Time=Distance. Not that hard to figure out. Yet, when a "word problem" occurs, I am lost as to where to plug in these numbers! Once I see how to fill in the numbers I have no problems figuring out the linear equation in 2 or 3 variables. So, this simple question tonight just stumped me on how to begin? Like, how do I know what equation I should figure into the graph? So, here is my question. I do NOT need help with the linear equation part of it. Where I need the help is figuring out how to plug in the numbers to make the equations correct in the first place.

Question: Dave and Sandy are frequent flyers with a particular airline. They often fly from City A to City B, a distance of 876 miles. On one particular trip, they fly into the wind, and the flight takes 2 hours. The return trip, with the wind behind them; only takes 1 1/2 hours. If the wind speed is the same on each trip, find the speed of the wind and find the speed of the plane in still air.

What I know: I know they are asking for A) Wind speed and is it Hours, MPH, or Miles and B) The Speed of the Plane and is it Hours, MPH, or Miles.

I know both answers will be MPH.

I know that R x T=D.

I Realize that 876 needs to go in the D column of the chart.

I realize that my two times are 2 and 1 1/2, and need to be under the "Time" column.

I read the problem 5 times before I set up my chart.

I have no problem with "UNDERSTAND" the problem, "SOLVE" the problem, or "INTERPRET" the results.

My issue seems to happen during the step "TRANSLATE" the problem into 2 equations.

Where my confusion is happening: So I know my 2 "R" or rates will be x-y and x+y. Yet, I do NOT know why or which column to put them into or why? Because tonight, I got them backwards. So, I put (x+y) X 2=876 and the second column I put (x-y) X 1 1/2 =876. When the equations should be (x-y) X 2=876 and (x+y) X 1 1/2=876. The first equation is the speed of the plane and the second equation is wind speed. The only reason I knew it was wrong the first way I set it up is because I knew that the wind speed could NOT be 511 mph therefore the plane could NOT be traveling at 73MPH!

Also, for whatever reason this seems to be my "Achilles Heel" for word problems because it happens in pretty much every word I problem I do. So, I tried to remedy it by doing opposite of my original thoughts as to solve my "word problem" dilemma. Yet, there are plenty of time where my first assumption is correct therefore I still end up with wrong answers. I just hope someone else has experienced this and figured a way around it. I'm quite frustrated at this point. The only reason why I am continuing on is because I need the math courses for my degree.