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9.1 Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions ©2001 by R. Villar All Rights Reserved

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Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions A rational expression is considered to be simplified when its numerator and denominator have no common factors left… Example: Simplify Factor the numerator and denominator... Cancel common factors... Reduce... 2x

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Multiplying rational expressions works the same as multiplying fractions…you may multiply numerators and denominators and then simplify, or you can cross cancel common factors... Example: Multiply With monomials, it’s a good idea to multiply first, and then simplify... Now reduce... 4y 3 3 4 3

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With polynomials, factor each numerator and denominator, if factorable, and cross cancel to simplify... Example: Multiply Factor... Cross cancel... x + 1 x

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Recall that to divide fractions, you can “invert and multiply:... Example: Divide Rewrite as multiplication... Cross cancel... = 6x 2 3x Factor... = 2x

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