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Math Help - Why can't I factor out the x-2 in 17x-2/5x-2?

  1. #1
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    Why can't I factor out the x-2 in 17x-2/5x-2?

    I thought if you have two numbers or signs in both numerator and demoninator they cancel out. Then why can't I do it in 17x-2/5x-2 for it to be 17/5.
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor Amer's Avatar
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    Re: Why can't I factor out the x-2 in 17x-2/5x-2?

    if it is (17(x-2))/(5(x-2))

    \frac{17(x-2)}{5(x-2)} here you can if x is not equal to 2

    if what u have like this 17x - \frac{2}{5x} - 2 here sure u cant

    use brackets
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  3. #3
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    Re: Why can't I factor out the x-2 in 17x-2/5x-2?

    You can't cancel x-2 in the fraction \frac{17x-2}{5x-2}. x-2 is not a factor of 17x-2. If it were \frac{17(x-2)}{5(x-2)}, then you could cancel.
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