I live in a place where solving math problems is taught perfectly, but Punctuation and correct words are overlooked.

I don't know to use comma, period, dash, paragraph change, etc and words like assuming, therefore, since, etc.

Please help me by solving the basic problem:

John's father is 24 years older than John, and the sum of their current age is 36. What is the current age of John?

Help me using necessary words, phrases, Punctuation, etc.

Thank you.

  • $\begingroup$ If you do a google search on "writing mathematics", you will find several resources. $\endgroup$
    – awkward
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @awkward I did, but those are above my level. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 12:45

2 Answers 2


We denote John's age by $j$ and the age of John's father by $f$. Since John's father is $24$ years older than John, we have


The information that the sum of their current age is $36$ gives us a second equation:


This gives $24+j+j=36$, thus $j=6.$


Given the triviality of the maths involved, this seems to be rather a problem of English (or whatever language) use. Here's an awfully elaborate wordy solution$^1$:

Let $J$ be the age of John and $F$ the age of John's father (both in years). We are given that $$\tag1F=J+24$$ and that $$\tag2J+F=36.$$ Using $(1)$ to eliminate $F$ from $(2)$, we find $$J+(J+24)=36$$ and from this readily obtain $$J=6.$$ The current age of John is therefore $6$ years.

$^1$ But don't get me wrong. I totally prefer a wordy solution to a wall of formulas without any connectives.


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