Thursday, March 7, 2013

Using distributive property to simplify a fraction.


Question:  Rewrite the following as a fraction in simplest form:


X=(7x6+7x12+7x200+7x12)/(21x12+21x24+21x400+21x24)



Answer: The distributive property is used to simplify both the numerator and the denominator.  Essentially we are factoring out a 7 from the numerator and 21 from the denominator.

The numerator is 7x(6+12+200+12) = 7x230

The denominator is 21x(12+24+400+24) = 21x460

The fraction can be rewritten as


X=7x230/21x460

7/21 is 1/3

230/460 is ½

x=1/6


See below for a nice discussion of the distributive property.

http://math.about.com/od/algebra/a/distributive.htm

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