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Math Help - Complex fractions

  1. #1
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    Complex fractions

    Can someone please help me with these math problems and explain them? I don't know what to do.


    2x-18
    divided by
    x squared - 16


    w squared + 5w
    divided by w squared - 25


    y squared + 8y +15
    divided by m squared - m - 42
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  2. #2
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    I'm going to assume you have to simply the expressions.

    1. \frac{2x - 18}{x^2 - 16}
    Take common factor in the numerator. Try to factor the denominator and then cancel.

    2. \frac{w^2 + 5w}{w^2 - 25}
    Again, common factor numerator, factor the denominator and cancel.

    3. \frac{y^2 + 8y + 15}{m^2 - m - 42}
    I'm not sure what you need to do here apart from just factor both the numerator and denominator.
    Last edited by Chop Suey; July 18th 2008 at 01:07 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop Suey View Post
    I'm going to assume you have to simply the expressions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chop Suey View Post

    1. \frac{2x - 18}{x^2 - 16}
    Take common factor in the numerator. Try to factor the denominator and then cancel.

    2. \frac{w^2 + 5w}{w^2 - 25}
    Again, common factor numerator, factor the denominator and cancel.

    3. \frac{y^2 + 8y + 15}{m^2 - m - 42}
    I'm not sure what you need to do here apart from just factor both the numerator and denominator.

    \frac{2x-18}{x^-16}

    [tex]\frac{2x-18} factors to 2 (x+19)

    x^2 -16 factors (x+4) (x-4)

    2(x+9)

    2 times (-9) = -18

    x= 2


    [tex]\frac{w^2 + sw}{w^2 -25)

    (x+5) (x-5)

    crossed out w+ 5 on the top and the bottom and I'm left with w divided by w-5
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura901 View Post


    \frac{2x-18}{x^-16}

    [tex]\frac{2x-18} factors to 2 (x+19)

    x^2 -16 factors (x+4) (x-4)

    2(x+9)

    2 times (-9) = -18

    x= 2
    You cannot solve for x as the equation is not equated to anything (ie. constant). Also, you are not given a value for x which you could substitute.

    Also, 2x-18 = 2(x-9).

    Quote Originally Posted by Laura901 View Post
    [tex]\frac{w^2 + sw}{w^2 -25)

    (x+5) (x-5)

    crossed out w+ 5 on the top and the bottom and I'm left with w divided by w-5
    This is correct.
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