Video: Ordering Rational Numbers in Word Problems

A criminal investigator listed in the table some events happened before and after a crime took place. Which event took place first?

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Video Transcript

A criminal investigator listed in the table some events that happened before and after a crime took place. Which event took place first?

There are four events listed in the table: event A, when suspect one left his home; event B, witness one called the police; event C, suspect two parked her car close to the crime scene; and finally event D, witness one saw suspect two close to the crime scene.

We are given times relative to the crime at which each of these events occurred. Event A occurred at negative zero hours 42 minutes. This means it was 42 minutes before the crime. Event B was 17 minutes after the crime as it was a positive number. Event C was one hour and 27 minutes before the crime. And event D, 55 minutes before the crime.

In order to work out which event took place first, we need to order these four numbers from smallest to largest. The smallest value or most negative value is negative one hour and 27 minutes. The next smallest is negative zero hours and 55 minutes. Next, comes our last negative value, negative zero hours and 42 minutes. Finally, the largest value is positive zero hours and 17 minutes. The first three numbers, as they are negative, occur before the crime, whereas the final value occurs after the crime.

We can therefore conclude that event C, suspect two parked her car close to the crime scene, occurred first.

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