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Unformatted text preview: aren’t the same number!
So, be careful with canceling. As a general rule of thumb remember that you can’t cancel
something if it’s got a “+” or a “” on one side of it. There is one exception to this rule of thumb
with “” that we’ll deal with in an example later on down the road.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. Example 1 Reduce the following rational expression to lowest terms.
x2  2 x  8
(a) 2
[Solution]
x  9 x + 20
x 2  25
(b)
[Solution]
5x  x2
x 7 + 2 x 6 + x5
(c) x3 ( x + 1) 8 [Solution] Solution
When reducing a rational expression to lowest terms the first thing that we will do is factor both
the numerator and denominator as much as possible. That should always be the first step in these
problems.
Also, the factoring in this section, and all successive section for that matter, will be done without
explanation. It will be assumed that you are capable of doing and/or checking the factoring on
your own. In other words, make sure that you can factor...
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 Spring '12
 MrVinh

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