# math answer doesn't make sense?

the question is:

A millipede has 14 more legs than a caterpillar. Together they have 46 legs. How many legs does a caterpillar have?

the answer the textbook gives is 16 but I don't understand how they came to that conclusion. am I just dumb?

### 10 Answers

- Ted KLv 75 months agoFavorite Answer
1) Let x = caterpillar leg #, and x+14 = millipede leg #

2) Total leg # = 46, so x + x + 14 = 46

3) x + x = 2x, so 2x + 14 =46

4) Subtract 14 from both sides of the = which gives you 2x = 32

5) Solve for x: x = 32/2 = 16. Caterpillar has 16 legs

6) To check the answer, 46 - 16 = 30, and 30 is 14 more than 16, so it checks out.

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- English GuyLv 65 months ago
The millepede does NOT have a set number of legs so any answer is wrong. That is like saying "if an elephant has six legs, how many do two elephants have?

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- busterwasmycatLv 75 months ago
16+14=30. 30+16=46. That is how it works. Normally, you start with "x" and "y" in place of the unknowns (which would be 16 and 30 in this case): x+14=y and x+y=46. substitute x+14 for y in the second equation to get x+14+x=46, rework to get 2x=32 or x=16. then replace the x by 16 in one of the equations and solve for y.

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- JazSincLv 75 months ago
A millipede has 14 more legs than a caterpillar. Together they have 46 legs. How many legs does a caterpillar have?

(1) m = 14 + c

(2) m + c = 46

(3) m + c - m = 46 - 14 - c (subtract #1 from #2)

(4) c = 32 - c (collecting terms in #3)

(5) c = c (identity)

(6) 2c = 32 (add #4 to #5)

(7) 2 = 2 (identity)

(8) c = 16 (divide #6 by #7) (ANSWER)

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- DixonLv 75 months ago
Together they have 46 legs, ie in total.

So they average to 46/2 = 23 each.

If the millipede has 14 more than the caterpillar, then the millipede has 7 more than average and the caterpillar has 7 fewer than average, ie

23 + 7 = 30

and

23 - 7 = 16

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- DixonLv 75 months agoReport
There is a given total number of legs and a given number of creatures having legs. By definition the average is former divided by the latter. And by common sense / inspection, the values of two numbers that are averaged are equidistant either side of the average.

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- daniel gLv 75 months ago
Well, I am dumb also,,in real world basic math, that is the caterpillar with 32 legs.

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- L.N.Lv 75 months ago
Caterpillar = C

Millipede = C + 14

So Caterpillar + Millipede = 2C + 14 = 46

2C = 46 - 14 = 32

C = 32 / 2 = 16 = Caterpillar

Looks like you are just dumb.

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- ?Lv 75 months ago
According to the question,

.....A millipede has 14 more legs than a caterpillar.

.....TRANSLATION. M = C+14...............[1]

.....Together they have 46 legs.

.....TRANSLATION. M+C = 46...............[2]

.....How many legs does a caterpillar have?

.....TRANSLATION. Solve for C

You have a system of 2 equations and 2 unknowns.

- ...Show all comments
He just skipped presentation of a step. See mine (steps 3 & 4) for what he didn't show you.

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- Anonymous5 months ago
X + 14 = 46

46 - 14 = 32

X=32 legs according to my math

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