My Math Forum Reducing fractions to its simplest form ( with exponents)

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 October 19th, 2017, 07:52 AM #1 Newbie   Joined: Oct 2017 From: Sweden Posts: 1 Thanks: 0 Reducing fractions to its simplest form ( with exponents) Hello! I'd like some help with a few problems that I have with reducing certain fractions to its simplest form. I already know the answers since they are written down in my book; what I need help with is how to think, explanation. Here are the problems: a) 3AB^3/18A^3B b) 10X^3/15X^2 c) 2X+2/2X Thanks. Last edited by skipjack; October 19th, 2017 at 08:02 AM.
 October 19th, 2017, 08:18 AM #2 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,966 Thanks: 2215 In each fraction, identify any factor (other than 1) of every term of the numerator that is also a factor of every term of the denominator, then remove that factor from both the numerator and the denominator (this amounts to dividing every term by the factor). (c) 2X + 2 and 2X have 2 as a common factor. To remove 2 from the second term of the numerator, replace that term with 1. Hence the result is (X + 1)/X. This assumes that the original fraction was intended to be (2X + 2)/(2X). Having removed a common factor, repeat the process if another common factor still exists. Is that sufficient explanation?
October 19th, 2017, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by A9810A a) 3AB^3/18A^3B b) 10X^3/15X^2 c) 2X+2/2X
Hmmm... Seems I'm doing the "pet peeve" thing today.

Warning! Warning!! Pet peeve alert! Warning!

a) (3AB^3)/(18A^3B)

b) (10X^3)/(15X^2)

c) (2X + 2)/(2X)

The parentheses are important. For example, using order of operations:
a) 3AB^3/18A^3B = (3AB^3/18 ) * A^3B = (3AB^3 * A^3B)/18

which is not at all what you were trying to say. See here: Order of operations.

Pet peeve ended. I'm all better now!

-Dan

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