Mom. How many pens and pencils?

Mr. Bower has 3 times as many pens as pencils. He has 20 pens and pencils altogether. How many pens does he have?

Solve by trial and error:


Say you have 1 pencil, then you have 3 pens ( 3 times 1 = 3 )

1 + 3 = 4, so you don't get 20


Say you have 3 pencils, then you have 9 pens ( 3 times 3 = 9 )

3 + 9 = 12, so you don't get 20


Say you have 4 pencils, then you have 12 pens ( 3 times 4 = 12 )

4 + 12 = 16, so you don't get 20


Say you have 5 pencils, then you have 15 pens ( 3 times 5 = 15 )

Since 5 + 15 = 20, then you have 5 pencils and 15 pens.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Basic math word problem.

Recent Articles

  1. Geometric Sequence Word Problems

    Sep 27, 22 08:34 AM

    A variety of geometric sequence word problems that will help you strengthen your knowledge of geometric sequence.

    Read More