Ella and three friends run in a relay race that is 14 miles long. Each person runs equal parts of the race. How many miles does each person run?
We might be able to do this in our head without algebra but for a more complicated problem algebra can be very useful.
The basic steps are the same.
Start with what we are told:
Number of people running = 4 (Ella + 3 friends)
Total distance run = 14
Each person runs the same distance
Use a letter to represent the distance we want to know:
e.g. Distance run by each person =
Write an equation (sometimes more than 1 eqn is needed) that shows what we are told.
Divide both sides by 4 to get only