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August 3rd, 2013, 11:31 PM   #1
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"easy" question involving a surd

Hi,
I hate to ask this as I'm sure it has a really, really very easy solution, but I simply cannot get my head around this.

I have a question as follows:

Write as a surd in it's lowest form:
  ____1____
     5 - ?3

Every other question from this source was ridiculously easy, so this is killing me to have to ask. I'd love an explanation rather than a simple answer if anyone has the time.

Many thanks!
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August 4th, 2013, 12:20 AM   #2
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Re: "easy" question involving a surd

We are given:



What you want to do is multiply this with to get:

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August 4th, 2013, 03:12 AM   #3
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Re: "easy" question involving a surd

Great, thanks Mark. I do feel like a fool for falling for it. My logical brain kept telling me it was as straight-forward as that, but I was convinced I should have had a cleaner answer...

I had originally come up with the following:
__5 + ?3__
      22

It just didn't look right to me as all the other answers were simple x?y format surds. I guess it was just a successful 'curveball'. Is it correct to format it as I have done?

Many thanks for the help!
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August 4th, 2013, 03:16 AM   #4
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Re: "easy" question involving a surd

I actually prefer it the way you have formatted it, but some teachers prefer the format for quadratic surds.
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August 4th, 2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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Re: "easy" question involving a surd

Ah, I just realised that I've put this in the wrong place in my haste in posting. I'm not sure if it isn't really suitable for here, I really do not know the school system structure in the USA and just looked up Middle School and Elementary School. I can't remember if I did surds back then, certainly not in my equivalent of elementary school!

Please move it to a more suitable subforum if you will, and sorry for making a blunder of my first posts. I am a lot older than you probably assumed!

The reason I was quite embarrassed by my question is that we are doing far more complicated work and yet I was tripped up by this revision...
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August 4th, 2013, 03:49 AM   #6
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Re: "easy" question involving a surd

I try not to make assumptions about the age of people based on the level of work they are posting...we have a middle-schooler doing university and graduate level work and we get senior citizens doing pre-algebra. I did move your topic though, and we certainly do not consider this a blunder...sometimes it is not so obvious where to post.

Welcome to MMF, by the way!
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August 4th, 2013, 04:00 AM   #7
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Re: "easy" question involving a surd

Thanks, hopefully I'll be more careful next time.

I'm bound to have have more silly questions! Somehow I managed to keep away from maths forums until now, but I'm hooked already!
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