The key phrase in this problem is

**two pieces**.

Declare Variables:

- Let the short piece length be s
- Let the long piece length be l

- s = l - 10
- s + l = 98 (Because the two pieces add up to 98)

l - 10+ l = 98

Group like terms:

2l - 10 = 98

Solve for

*l*in the equation 2l - 10 = 98

**Step 1: Group constants:**

We need to group our constants -10 and 98. To do that, we add 10 to both sides

2l - 10 + 10 = 98 + 10

**Step 2: Cancel 10 on the left side:**

2l = 108

**Step 3: Divide each side of the equation by 2**

2l/2 = 108/2

l =

**54**

To solve for s, we substitute l = 54 into equation (1):

s = 54 - 10

s =

**44**

Check our work:

The shorter piece is 10 inches shorter than the longer piece since 54 - 44 = 10

Second check: Do both pieces add up to 98

54 + 44 ? 98

98 = 98