x² -(Sum of the roots)x + (products of the root) = 0

]]>MathsIsFun, I'll try remember the:

ax² + bx + c = 0

x = (-b ± √(b² - 4ac) / 2a

Thanks a lot guys, it's much appreciated!

]]>The other way is to use the quadratic formula. You can see that in action here: http://www.mathsisfun.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=883

]]>Calling the short side 'x', you've got x(x+3)=88.

Multiplying out of brackets gives x²+3x=88.

Put it all on one side, because with quadratics that's just what you do: x²+3x-88=0

Factorise it: (x+11)(x-8)=0

There's no short way to factorise things, you just get a knack eventually.

Anyway, as (x+11)(x-8)=0, that means that either x-11 or x-8=0, because anything times 0=0.

So, if x+11=0, rearranging gives x=-11. This would be a valid solution if it was a pure question, but as the question is applied to measurements, negative values are ignored.

This leaves x-8=0, which when rearranged gives x=8, which is the answer.

Your room is 8m wide and 11m long.

Sorry if I've been too complicated or patronising.

]]>A rectangular room is 3 meters longer than it is wide. If the area of the floor is 88 square meters, what is the length and width of the room?

The problem looked a little like a joke, but just for entertainment - I tried solving it. Half an hour later, I had absolutely no idea where to go. (Obviously after a couple of minutes, I couldn't help noticing the answer, but that's not what I am after).

Could anyone please tell me how to solve this "tricky" problem.

BTW, I've had the problem at "(width * 3) + ( width * width) = 88" but I could get no farther.

Thanks for putting my mind to rest.

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