David is rowing a boat upstream. The river is flowing at a speed of 2 miles per hour. David starts rowing at a speed of 6 miles per hour, and his speed decreases at a rate of 1.5 miles per hour.
The equation _______ gives the speed of the boat after David has rowed for x hours.
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Say the direction David is rowing (upstream) is the positive direction. That makes the direction the river is flowing negative.
David rows at 6 mph, but the river is flowing at 2 mph in the opposite direction. That means his "net" speed, relative to an observer on the ground, is 6-2 = 4 mph.
He loses 1.5 mph of his speed every hour, so after x hours, his speed is 4-1.5x.
Does that make sense?