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Math Help - What do I do for this? (factoring binomials)

  1. #1
    Junior Member doomgaze's Avatar
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    What do I do for this? (factoring binomials)

    so I was doing my homework today and I stumbled upon this problem, I had no trouble with any of the other ones and I look at the problem and I have no idea what to do.

    problem:
    factor problem using the greatest common binomial factor.
    3a(a+b)-(a+b)

    so is it just.

    (3a)(-1)(a+b)

    or

    3a(a-b)^2

    haha, I'm sure this problem is really easy, I don't know why I have no idea how to do it.
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  2. #2
    o_O
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    Let \color{red}u = a+b (just so it's easier to visualize).

    So the problem becomes: 3a {\color{red}u} - {\color{red}u}

    Is this something you could factor ?
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  3. #3
    Junior Member doomgaze's Avatar
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    so I can't do anything to it?
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  4. #4
    is up to his old tricks again! Jhevon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doomgaze View Post
    so I can't do anything to it?
    please read o_O's post again. and think about what he said. he didn't put things in red just for fun. he is giving you a hint
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  5. #5
    Junior Member doomgaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_O View Post
    Let \color{red}u = a+b (just so it's easier to visualize).

    So the problem becomes: 3a {\color{red}u} - {\color{red}u}

    Is this something you could factor ?
    so...

    u(3a-1)

    ?
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  6. #6
    o_O
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    Exaactly. But what was {\color{red}u} in the first place?
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  7. #7
    Junior Member doomgaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_O View Post
    Exaactly. But what was {\color{red}u} in the first place?
    (a+b) ?

    so the answer to mine would be:

    3a (a+b)-(a+b)

    (a+b)(3)(-1)

    No, that's not right..

    3a (a+b) - (a+b)
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  8. #8
    is up to his old tricks again! Jhevon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doomgaze View Post
    (a+b) ?

    so the answer to mine would be:

    3a (a+b)-(a+b)

    (a+b)(3)(-1)

    No, that's not right..

    3a (a+b) - (a+b)
    according to what you wrote before, which o_O confirmed, it is (a + b)(3a - 1). just replace u with a + b, that's it
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