Adding Algebraic Fractions, Different Denominators
Date: 8/24/96 at 17:41:49 From: Anonymous Subject: Adding Fractions with Different Denominators My problem is: 7 2-x 3+5x - + --- + ---- 2x 3x^2 6x^3 How on earth do I solve this? Help!
Date: 8/26/96 at 12:30:58 From: Doctor Mike Subject: Re: Adding Fractions with Different Denominators Hello Louie, It isn't really that hard. It's just that the original problem has you adding apples and oranges and mangoes, so to speak. I am going to show you how to convert this to a problem where you are adding all mangoes, and then the result will be mangoes, what else! The secret is to get a Common Denominator. If you have fractions to add and all the denominators are EXACTLY the same, then you just use that denominator which is common to all the fractions as the denominator for your result, and add the numerators to get the numerator of the result. In symbols, a/x + b/x + c/x = (a+b+c)/x . The common denominator in your problem is 6x^3. The way you get the other 2 fractions to have the same denominator is to multiply each of them by one - not just any old one, but a clever version of one: 7 3x^2 2-x 2x 3+5x 21x^2 4x-2x^2 3+5x --*------ + ----*---- + ---- = ------ + ------- + ---- 2x 3x^2 3x^2 2x 6x^3 6x^3 6x^3 6x^3 Now you can add and simplify the numerators to get the answer. See? I'm sure you can finish it off. I hope this helps. -Doctor Mike, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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