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Ok i understand how the answer is calculated

R :: 40*.5 = 20 television sets T :: 50*.9 = 45 television sets

45*x = 20 x = 0.44 or 44%

so R sold 44% of what T sold but it's asking "what percent less" ? i know the answer is 56% which is 1 - .44 = .56 or 56% but i'm having trouble grasping what it actually means by what percent less . . .

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You probably know what it means to say that the number $x$ is 12 less than the number $y$: It means $x$ is $y-12$ (which can be read as y less 12). Something is p percent less than $A$ if it's A less p percent (of A), or $A-\frac{p}{100}A$.

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Well, if A is $x$ percent less than B, it means $ x=\frac{B-A}{B} $ or $ A = (1-x)\cdot B $.

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Basically, you already figured out that store R sold 20 TV sets and store T sold 45 TV sets. Store T - Store R = The number that store R sold less than store T = 25

You want to divide the difference by the original. 25/45 = .555 or 56%

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