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

• Aug 10th 2012, 11:41 AM
EJdive43
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.
• Aug 10th 2012, 11:55 AM
Amer
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
• Aug 10th 2012, 12:48 PM
richard1234
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.