A rational expression is the ratio of two polynomial expressions. Therefore, it's a quotient whose numerator and denominator are polynomials. To simplify a rational expression, divide numerator and denominator by their greatest common factor. Sometimes, factoring -1 helps to simplify rational expressions. If you factor out -1 from (x-2), you would get -(2-x). To multiply two rational expressions, multiply the numerators and multiply the denominators. There are some restrictions for this rule. To divide two rational expressions, we turn the division into multiplication. To simplify rational expressions when multiplying or dividing, factor all the numerators and denominators, then cancel common factors.
To simplify an algebraic fraction, factor the numerator and denominator completely. Then cancel common factors. When multiplying or dividing, do the same thing – factor all the numerators and denominators, then cancel common factors.
If two factors in the numerator and denominator look almost the same, factor –1 out of either of the factors and see if you get two identical factors.
*These practice questions are only helpful when you work on them offline on a piece of paper and then use the solution steps function to check your answer.
Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions
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