Problem #1740


In order to estimate the value of $x-y$ where $x$ and $y$ are real numbers with $x > y > 0$, Xiaoli rounded $x$ up by a small amount, rounded $y$ down by the same amount, and then subtracted her rounded values. Which of the following statements is necessarily correct?

$\textbf{(A)}$ Her estimate is larger than $x-y$ $\textbf{(B)}$ Her estimate is smaller than $x-y$ $\textbf{(C)}$ Her estimate equals $x-y$ $\textbf{(D)}$ Her estimate equals $y - x$ $\textbf{(E)}$ Her estimate is $0$

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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