Let that number of years be x
Ethan --- 40+x
son ------ 12+x
40+x = 5(12+x)
40+x = 60 + 5x
-4x = 20
x = -5
it happened 5 years ago
check: 5 yrs ago, Ethan was 35, son was 7
and 35 is 5 times 7
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