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Question
I have this word problem in this ASVAB test study book that I hope u can help me with.

  "A Lion runs 50 mph in pursuit of a Zebra running at 40 mph.  If the initial distance between them was a quarter of a mile, how long will it take the Lion to catch the Zebra?"
 By the way, this is a multiple choice problem & they are:

  A) 1.5 mins
  B) 1 min
  C) 2 mins
  D) 1 .5 hours

Can u please tell me how u got the answer as well.  Thank you"

Answer
The Lion gains 10 miles every hour he's chasing the Zebra, so it's as simple as dividing 1/4 mile by 10.  It will take 1/40th of an hour (60/40) to catch the Zebra or 1.5 minutes.  If you want the algebraic explanation... d=tr (distance = time x rate (or speed)).  You want to know when both the zebra and lion get to the same point, so let's let the distance the zebra runs = y, so the distance the lion has to run to catch it when starting a quarter mile behind is y + .25.  Fill in the info you know to the distance formula, using 2 separate equations.  Lion: y + .25 = 50t.  Zebra: y=40t.  Using the value of y = 40t, to solve the other equation gives you
40t + .25 = 50t
.25 = 10t
.25/10 = t
.025 = t

Since the time is in miles per hour, 60(.025) = 1.5 minutes.

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Lynn Houston

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I can answer questions in basic algebra and any grade school math.

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Love math, currently helping my nephew get through Intermediate Algebra.

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I majored in Math Ed in college (but decided not to teach), so have over 40 credits of math.

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