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Math Help - Need help with word problem

  1. #1
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    Need help with word problem

    I am lost with out the distance. Can someone help with this problem. A boat takes five hours to move upstream against a current of 3mi/hour. The return trip takes only 3 hours. What is the relative speed of the boat?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Need help with word problem

    Let the distance be d and the boat speed in still water be v. Write two equations in d and v from the information given in the problem statement.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Need help with word problem

    Since the current speed is 3 mi/hr, If we let v be the boats speed in still water, v, then the speed upstream is v- 3 and the speed downstream is v+ 3. Since "distance= speed* time, d= (v- 3)5 upstream and d= (v+ 3)3. Although you don't know d, you know that d is the same in both equations and, according to Euclid, "quantities equal to the same thing are equal to each other" so you can form an equation without knowing d.
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