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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- Aug 10th 2012, 11:41 AMEJdive43Why 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.

- Aug 10th 2012, 11:55 AMAmerRe: Why can't I factor out the x-2 in 17x-2/5x-2?
if it is (17(x-2))/(5(x-2))

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

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

use brackets - Aug 10th 2012, 12:48 PMrichard1234Re: Why can't I factor out the x-2 in 17x-2/5x-2?
You can't cancel x-2 in the fraction $\displaystyle \frac{17x-2}{5x-2}$. x-2 is not a factor of 17x-2. If it were $\displaystyle \frac{17(x-2)}{5(x-2)}$,

*then*you could cancel.