Multiplying and Dividing Fractions Rational expressions differ from regular fractions in that they have variables. These variables represent numbers, however, so the basic rules that apply to fractions also apply to rational expressions. For fractions, multiplying is easy. Next Slide Here, think of the 2 and 3 as being multiplied (top), and the 4 and 5 are divided (bottom). When you divide, you should do the opposite.
Dividing: Invert and Multiply Remember: To divide fractions, invert and multiply. With rational expressions, it goes the same way. Look at these three examples. Next Slide
Practice Problems Multiply or Divide. Simplify. Next Slide Answers on next slide.
Answers to Practice Problems on last slide Next Slide
Adding and Subtracting With regular fractions, we need a common denominator before we add or subtract. Consider these three examples. Next Slide
Adding and Subtracting (cont.) For rational expressions, we do the same. If we have a common denominator, just add or subtract the numerator. Next Slide Remember to subtract every term!
Practice Problems End Click for answers: 1) 1; 2) x – 1; 3) [x-3]/[x+1]; 4) 1.