# How do you factor xy - 3x - 8y + 24?

Apr 10, 2015

The factors of the first term $x , y$ are $x$ and $y$
So if we can factor $x y - 3 x - 8 y + 24$
the most likely form will be
$\left(x + a\right) \left(y + b\right) = x y + b x + a y + a b$

by inspection
$a = - 8$
and $b = - 3$

so
$x y - 3 x - 8 y + 24 = \left(x - 8\right) \left(x - 3\right)$