Number Sense Blog

Word Problem Wednesday: Time Travel is Elementary When You Understand the Math

Written by Mathnasium | Sep 12, 2018

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
―Tennessee Williams

Where—or rather, WHEN—would you go if you could travel through time? This week’s word problem challenge is all about time travel! Use your foundational and elementary level math skills to figure out when a certain time traveler would end up if he begins in 2018 and travels forward and backward in time.

Question: The year is 2018. A time traveler transports himself 40 years back in time, then 20 years forward in time, then 34 years back in time. What year is it for the time traveler now?

What do you think? Did he end up in a good year? Look below to check your solution against ours.

Solution: Forty years before 2018 is 2018 – 40 = 1978. Twenty years after that is 1978 + 20 = 1998. Thirty-four years before that is 1998 – 34 = 1964. So, it is 1964 for the time traveler when he stops traveling through time.


(Clock image above by JD on Flickr.)