Word Problems/Math


QUESTION: "I have a 20 ft container that is 1195cuft and I have a bales of cardboard that is 49.98cuft how many of these bales can I get in the 20ft container?"

ANSWER: The number depends on the configurations of the container and bales. Since you were not given their dimensions, there is no way to know how many bales will fit.

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QUESTION: Can't you just take 1195 and divide it by 50 to get 24 which means you could get 24 bales in a container that is 1195 cuft?

The dimensions matter because the bales are of fixed shape. Suppose the bales are extremely wide and long, but very short, while the container is extremely tall with a very small footprint. It is possible that not even one bale would fit.

Suppose that instead of cardboard, you were storing water in 49.98 ft³ units. In that case, dimensions do not matter because the water conforms to the container. 1195/50 ≅ 23.9, but since 23.9 < 24, the most you could store is 23 units of water.

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Janet Yang


Word problems are my favorite type of math questions! I would not feel comfortable answering questions that require specialized knowledge (Physics, Statistics, etc.) because I have not studied these in depth.


I tutor students (fifth through twelfth grades) and am a Top Contributor on Yahoo!Answers with over 24,000 math solutions.

Co-author of An Outline of Scientific Writing: For Researchers With English as a Foreign Language.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Business Administration degree from The Wharton School.

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