# How do you factor completely #12x^3 - 3xy^2#?

##### 2 Answers

Feb 19, 2017

#### Explanation:

take out all common factors

use difference of squares

Feb 19, 2017

To factor, we have to divide out common factors in each term. Let's first write out the factors:

#12x^3# =#4*3*x*x*x#

#-3xy^2# =#3*-1*x*y*y#

Now look for the factors that each term share. We see that there is a

#(3*x)(4*x*x)#

#(3*x)(-1*y*y)#

Remember that these were being subtracted, so rewrite:

#(3*x)[(4*x*x) -(1*y*y)]#

Simplify.

#(3x)(4x^2-y^2)#

Use difference of squares to simplify further.

#(3x)(2x-y)(2x+y)#