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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Use the Distance, Rate, and Time formula
  • Solve a formula for a specific variable

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

  1. Solve: 15 t = 120 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  2. Solve: 6 x + 24 = 96 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .

Use the distance, rate, and time formula

One formula you will use often in algebra and in everyday life is the formula for distance traveled by an object moving at a constant rate. Rate is an equivalent word for “speed.” The basic idea of rate may already familiar to you. Do you know what distance you travel if you drive at a steady rate of 60 miles per hour for 2 hours? (This might happen if you use your car’s cruise control while driving on the highway.) If you said 120 miles, you already know how to use this formula!

Distance, rate, and time

For an object moving at a uniform (constant) rate, the distance traveled, the elapsed time, and the rate are related by the formula:

d = r t where d = distance r = rate t = time

We will use the Strategy for Solving Applications that we used earlier in this chapter. When our problem requires a formula, we change Step 4. In place of writing a sentence, we write the appropriate formula. We write the revised steps here for reference.

Solve an application (with a formula).

  1. Read the problem. Make sure all the words and ideas are understood.
  2. Identify what we are looking for.
  3. Name what we are looking for. Choose a variable to represent that quantity.
  4. Translate into an equation. Write the appropriate formula for the situation. Substitute in the given information.
  5. Solve the equation using good algebra techniques.
  6. Check the answer in the problem and make sure it makes sense.
  7. Answer the question with a complete sentence.

You may want to create a mini-chart to summarize the information in the problem. See the chart in this first example.

Jamal rides his bike at a uniform rate of 12 miles per hour for 3 1 2 hours. What distance has he traveled?

Solution

Step 1. Read the problem.
Step 2. Identify what you are looking for. distance traveled
Step 3. Name. Choose a variable to represent it. Let d = distance.
Step 4. Translate: Write the appropriate formula. d = r t
.
Substitute in the given information. d = 12 · 3 1 2
Step 5. Solve the equation. d = 42 miles
Step 6. Check
Does 42 miles make sense?
Jamal rides:
.
Step 7. Answer the question with a complete sentence. Jamal rode 42 miles.

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Lindsay drove for 5 1 2 hours at 60 miles per hour. How much distance did she travel?

330 miles

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Trinh walked for 2 1 3 hours at 3 miles per hour. How far did she walk?

7 miles

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Rey is planning to drive from his house in San Diego to visit his grandmother in Sacramento, a distance of 520 miles. If he can drive at a steady rate of 65 miles per hour, how many hours will the trip take?

Solution

Step 1. Read the problem.
Step 2. Identify what you are looking for. How many hours (time)
Step 3. Name.
Choose a variable to represent it.
Let t = time.
.
Step 4. Translate.
Write the appropriate formula.
d = r t
Substitute in the given information. 520 = 65 t
Step 5. Solve the equation. t = 8
Step 6. Check. Substitute the numbers into
the formula and make sure the result is a
true statement.
d = r t 520 = ? 65 · 8 520 = 520
Step 7. Answer the question with a complete sentence. Rey’s trip will take 8 hours.

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Questions & Answers

4x+7y=29,x+3y=11 substitute method of linear equation
Srinu Reply
substitute method of linear equation
Srinu
Solve one equation for one variable. Using the 2nd equation, x=11-3y. Substitute that for x in first equation. this will find y. then use the value for y to find the value for x.
bruce
I want to learn
Elizebeth
help
Elizebeth
I want to learn. Please teach me?
Wayne
1) Use any equation, and solve for any of the variables. Since the coefficient of x (the number in front of the x) in the second equation is 1 (it actually isn't shown, but 1 * x = x), use that equation. Subtract 3y from both sides (this isolates the x on the left side of the equal sign).
bruce
2) This results in x=11-3y. x is note in terms of y. Use that as the value of x and substitute for all x in the first equation. The first equation becomes 4(11-3y)+7y =29. Note that the only variable left in the first equation is the y. If you have multiple variable, then something is wrong.
bruce
3) Distribute (multiply) the 4 across 11-3y to get 44-12y. Add this to the 7y. So, the equation is now 44-5y=29.
bruce
4) Solve 44-5y=29 for y. Isolate the y by subtracting 44 from birth sides, resulting in -5y=-15. Now, divide birth sides by -5 (since you have -5y). This results in y=3. You now have the value of one variable.
bruce
5) The last step is to take the value of y from Step 4) and substitute into the 2nd equation. Therefore: x+3y=11 becomes x+3(3)=11. Then multiplying, x+9=11. Finally, solve for x by subtracting 9 from both sides. Therefore, x=2.
bruce
6) The ordered pair of (2, 3) is the proposed solution. To check, substitute those values into either equation. If the result is true, then the solution is correct. 4(2)+7(3)=8+21=29. TRUE! Finished.
bruce
At 1:30 Marlon left his house to go to the beach, a distance of 5.625 miles. He rose his skateboard until 2:15, and then walked the rest of the way. He arrived at the beach at 3:00. Marlon's speed on his skateboard is 1.5 times his walking speed. Find his speed when skateboarding and when walking.
Andrew Reply
divide 3x⁴-4x³-3x-1 by x-3
Ritik Reply
how to multiply the monomial
Ceny Reply
Two sisters like to compete on their bike rides. Tamara can go 4 mph faster than her sister, Samantha. If it takes Samantha 1 hours longer than Tamara to go 80 miles, how fast can Samantha ride her bike? Got questions? Get instant answers now!
Seera Reply
how do u solve that question
Seera
Two sisters like to compete on their bike rides. Tamara can go 4 mph faster than her sister, Samantha. If it takes Samantha 1 hours longer than Tamara to go 80 miles, how fast can Samantha ride her bike?
Seera
Speed=distance ÷ time
Tremayne
x-3y =1; 3x-2y+4=0 graph
Juned Reply
Brandon has a cup of quarters and dimes with a total of 5.55$. The number of quarters is five less than three times the number of dimes
ashley Reply
app is wrong how can 350 be divisible by 3.
Raheem Reply
June needs 48 gallons of punch for a party and has two different coolers to carry it in. The bigger cooler is five times as large as the smaller cooler. How many gallons can each cooler hold?
Susanna Reply
Susanna if the first cooler holds five times the gallons then the other cooler. The big cooler holda 40 gallons and the 2nd will hold 8 gallons is that correct?
Georgie
@Susanna that person is correct if you divide 40 by 8 you can see it's 5 it's simple
Ashley
@Geogie my bad that was meant for u
Ashley
Hi everyone, I'm glad to be connected with you all. from France.
Lorris Reply
I'm getting "math processing error" on math problems. Anyone know why?
Ray Reply
Can you all help me I don't get any of this
Jade Reply
4^×=9
Alberto Reply
Did anyone else have trouble getting in quiz link for linear inequalities?
Sireka Reply
operation of trinomial
Justin Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
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