# Thread: quick algerbra question

1. ## quick algerbra question

express x^2 - 5x + 1/4 in the form (x-a)^2 - b

2. Originally Posted by johnsmith666
express x^2 - 5x + 1/4 in the form (x-a)^2 - b
You have already posted this question, reposting is not a good way to get help.
Have you tried the question? How far can you get?

Have you done 'completing the square' in lessons yet?

Try expanding (x-a)^2 - b and comparing coefficients with x^2 -5x +1/4 .

3. Hi John,

the question is testing you to figure out what the values of 'a' and 'b' are.

You must be able to multiply out $(x-a)^2$ to find them.

By doing this, you will first see what 'a' is, then you can find 'b'.

4. do you understand this step
as mentioned "completing the square"

$
\left(x^2 -\frac{5}{2}x + \frac{25}{4}\right) + \frac{1}{4} - \frac{25}{4}
$

5. Originally Posted by johnsmith666
express x^2 - 5x + 1/4 in the form (x-a)^2 - b

$(x-5/2)^2-6$

6. But if you don't learn how to find those values, John,
you'll be just as stuck the next time.