Division word problems

Division word problems arise in situations where we are trying to find out how many times a number go into another. In general, division is the inverse operation of multiplication.

Consider the following situations

Problem #1:

Sylvia's income is 26,000 dollars per year (52 weeks). How much money does Sylvia make weekly?

Sylvia's income of 26,000 dollars was found by doing the following:

? × 52 = 26,000 where the question mark represents Sylvia's weekly income.

It may take you forever to try every possible number that you need to multiply by 52 to get 26,000.

The number is of course 500, but to find it, do a quick division of 26,000 by 52.

You can also think of the problem above as a linear equation.

In this case, you can replace the question mark by x and solve either of the following two equations:

x × 52 = 26,000 or 52 × x = 26000.

You will then follow the steps outlined in solving multiplication equation.

Problem #2:

How many hours are there in 660 minutes?

Important information to know: 1 hour = 60 minutes.

? × 60 = 660 minutes where ? represents number of hours.

Just divide 660 by 60.

660 ÷ 60 = 11, so there are 11 hours in 660 minutes.

Problem #3:

How many meters are there in 550 centimeters?

Important information to know: 1 meter = 100 centimeters.

? × 100 = 550 centimeters where ? represents number of meters.

Just divide 550 by 100.

550 ÷ 100 = 5.5, so there are 5.5 meters in 550 centimeters.

Problem #4:

In one night, a movie theater sells tickets for 6450 dollars. Each ticket costs 15 dollars. How many people purchased a ticket?

? × 15 = 6450 where the question mark represents the number of people who purchased a ticket.

6450 ÷ 15 = 430, so 430 people purchased a ticket.

Problem #5:

How many 8-ounce sodas are there in a 4-quart dispenser?

First, convert 4-quart to ounces. Since 1 quart is equal to 32 ounces, then 4 quarts equals 4 × 32 ounces = 128 ounces.

? × 8 ounces = 128 ounces where the question mark represents the number of 8-ounce sodas in a 128-ounce dispenser.

128 ÷ 8 = 16, so there are sixteen 8-ounce sodas in a 4-quart dispenser.

More division word problems

Problem #6

Delwyn sells lemon juice for 20 cents. Delwyn got 50 customers. How much did she earn?

How many customers you get for 1 dollar?

20 cents into 1.00 = 5

You get 5 customers.

How much money do you make with 5 customers

5 into 50 = 10

The answer is $10.

Problem #7

How many vans are needed for a class trip?

48 children lined up in a queue. If 8 children can sit in a mini van, how many vans are needed?


? X 8 = 48.

Here, ? represents the number of vans needed.

Divide 48 by 8

Since 48 divided by 8 is 6, we need 6 vans for 48 children.

Did you have a hard time understanding the division word problems in the examples above? Take a close look at this example which illustrates well the concept  

Division word problem

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