Hi
What do i get when i expand:
x^2 - 1
Is it
(x-1)(x+1)
not unless it is equated to something where you can distribute the minus on the other side as well:
so, say you had: 21 - 4x - x^2 = 0
then it is okay to multiply both sides by -1 to get: x^2 + 4x - 21 = 0
but if you just have the expression by itself, you cannot do that, the best you can do is to say:
$\displaystyle 21 - 4x - x^2 = - \left( x^2 + 4x - 21 \right)$
leave the minus outside of the brackets