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Frequently Asked Questions...

Simple formula for this type of question?

is there any simple formula for this type of question?

John bought 25% more candy than Mary. He gave 20 candies to Mary, causing her to have 20% more than John. How many candies do they have in total?
How many candies should John gave Mary in order for her to have 25% more than him?

Best Answer...


They're called let statements.

Let mary's amount of candy = x
John's amount would then = x + .25x = 1.25x
John's amount after giving her 20 candies = 1.25x - 20
Mary's new amount = x + 20

Now, from what they tell you, Mary's new amount is 20% more than John's amount. To get his amount to equal hers, we just mutiply his new amount by 1.2, representing 120% of his total amount. We can set up an equation representing this, and then solve.

x + 20 = 1.2(1.25x - 20)
x + 20 = 1.5x - 24
44 = .5x
88 = x
So, now we can plug in this value to find out all the values.
mary's amount of candy = 88
John's amount would then = 88 + .25(88) = 1.25(88) = 110
John's amount after giving her 20 candies = 1.25(88) - 20 = 90
Mary's new amount = 88 + 20 =108

The total amount of candy in all is 198.

For mary to have 25% more than John, we can use let statements again.
Let John's amount = x
Mary's amount = 1.25 x
These have to add up to the total 198:
x + 1.25x = 198
2.25x = 198
x = 88

So, for John to go from 90 to 88, he would have to only give her 2 candies to make her have 25% more than him.

So, the total amount is 198 candies. John would need to give mary 2 candies for her to have 25% more candy than him.