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The area of Desert A is nine times the area of Desert B. If the sum of their areas is 1,000,000 square miles, find the area of each desert.

Menielle,

You did a very good thing to ask.  That's part of how we learn.  Sometimes family members or friends, or classmates can help.  And please don't overlook your teachers.  They helped me.  I became a teacher/tutor.  Geraldine W.

This is a system of equations; two equations, two unknows. Translate the words into expressions and, ultimately, to equations.

The area of Desert A is nine times the area of Desert B.

A = 9B (eqn 1)

the sum of their areas is 1,000,000 square miles

A + B = 1,000,000 (eqn 2)

Now, you can use substitution method to solve. If A = 9B, substitute that for A in eqn 2.

9B + B = 1,000,000

Now we have and equation in terms of only one variable instead of two.

10B = 1,000,000

B = 1,000,000/10

B = 100,000 sq mi

Now substitute into eqn 1 to find A

A = 9B = 9*100,000 = 900,000 sq. mi.

Check to make sure the sum of A and B equals the original amount

A + B = 1,000,000

100,000 + 900,000 = 1,000,000

1,000,000 = 1,000,000 (true)