How do you simplify #(x^2-7x+12) / (x-4) #?
You must factor the numerator to see if anything can eliminate itself.
To factor a trinomial of the form
Since dividing a number by itself gives one, the x - 4 in the numerator and the x - 4 in the denominator eliminate themselves. This leaves us with
The key for simplifying rational expressions: always factor completely to see what you can eliminate!!. Also, as you will see in the practice exercises, it is most helpful to factor out the GCF (greatest common factor) before engaging in other types of factorization.
- Simplify the following rational expressions.