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This month Jane walked a total distance of 36 miles. If this distance is 90% of the distance she walked last month, how much distance did Jane walk last month?

A 40 miles.

Step 1:
This month Jane walked a fraction of the distance she walked last month, 36 miles is part of a whole. To get the whole, you first have to turn the percentage into a decimal.
90% = 90/100
Step 2:
We then divide the part by the decimal in the last step to get the whole.
36/0.9= 40.
As a way of checking, you can divide 36 by 40 and take note of the decimal you get.
36/40 = 0.9, which tells us that our answer is correct.
Jane walked 40 miles last month.

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