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Course: Intermediate Algebra
Topic: Rational Expressions
Subtopic: Operations II - Multiply & Divide

Overview

When multiplying fractions in arithmetic you reduce each fraction, cross cancel to simplify, then multiply. Similarly when multiplying algebraic rational expressions, you factor every numerator and denominator completely, reduce each fractions, cross cancel like factors, then multiply. Dividing two rational expressions is similar except that you flip the second fraction to convert to multiplication first.

Objectives

By the end of this topic you should know and be prepared to be tested on:

Terminology

Terms you should be able to define: reduce, cross-cancel, reciprocate (a.k.a. flip)

Text Notes

Pay special attention to the examples that contain "opposites". Watch your signs! There is lots of factoring throughout this section. Factor carefully!