# Thread: Need help on word problem.

1. ## Need help on word problem.

There are 396 persons in a theater. If the ratio of women to men is 2:3, and the ratio of men to children is 1:2, how many men are in the theater?

2. Hi,

Are you sure your numbers are correct? I'm getting 396*6/13 men, which I'm pretty sure isn't physically possible...

If you are having problems with the words, simply get rid of them! Make equations, which are usually much easier to work with. Maths notation is actually quite a modern thing - previously people would do maths in words and sentences, which is hard! For instance, "=" was not introduce until 1557(MacTutor). Also, in some ways maths merely takes away any external noise and gets to the crux of the problem, and what you are dealing with here is quite a good example of this. As sentences, it is hard to solve/understand, but as equations it is less so. Another good example is a thing called Group Theory - essentially it is the abstract study of symmetry, but it has developed into a very powerful tool. Anyway, I'm rambling. However, my point is this - get rid of the words! Make it into something you can deal with.

3. ## Here is my answer.

I think the answer should be this.

women:men =2:3
men:children=1:2
therefore women:men:children=2:3:6
men=396x3/11=108

There are 108 men.