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Algebra 1 Ch11.2 #5

Question from Chris:

Algebra 1 chapter 11 lesson 2 problem 5h:
I see that you can cross out the (x + 7) in the numerator & denominator to get 3 /(x +3). Why can’t you simplify further by cancelling 3/3 so that the final answer is 1/x? Thanks

Answer from Dr. Callahan:

Chris,

You must handle everything added together as one.

Because when you divide 3 by x+ 3 = you cannot simplify

For instance, simplifying is all about making a simpler form, but the answer is still the same.

If you have 3/3x and you let x=1, the answer is just 3

If you simply 3/3x tp 1/x and let x = 1, you still get one.

Simplifying does not change the problem.

Now in your case, try to set x=1.

3/(x+3) when x =1 is 3/4

but if we change to 1/x and let x=1, you get 1. So you know it is wrong.

Hope this helps.

dwc