James’ dad is 5 times older than James, and James is twice as old as his sister Sara. In two years, the sum of their ages will be 58. How old is James now?
x = Sara’s age now
2x = James’ age now {James is twice as old as Sara} 10x = James’ dad’s age {James’ dad is 5 times older than James} x + 2 = Sara in two years {added 2 onto Sara’s current age} 2x + 2 = James in two years {added 2 onto James’ current age} 10x + 2 = James’ dad in two years {added 2 onto James’ dad’s current age} x + 2 + 2x + 2 + 10x + 2 = 58 {in two years, the sum of their ages will be 58} 13x + 6 = 58 {combined like terms} 13x = 52 {subtracted 6 from each side} x = 4 {divided each side by 13} 2x = 8 {substituted 4, in for x, into 2x to get James’ age now} James is 8 now. Ask Algebra House
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