# How do you simplify #(x^2 + 5x + 4 )/ (x^2 - 16)#?

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Geoff K.
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Mar 9, 2018

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**Step 1:** Factor both the numerator and denominator.

#(x^2 + 5x + 4)/(x^2 - 16) = [(x+1)(x+4)]/[(x-4)(x+4)]#

**Step 2:** Cancel common factors.

#[(x+1)cancel((x+4))]/[(x-4)cancel((x+4))]= (x+1)/(x-4)," ""if "x+4!= 0#

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