How to Add & Subtract Radical Expressions With Fractions

By John Gugie
Add & Subtract Radical Expressions With Fractions

Adding and subtracting radical expressions with fractions is exactly the same as adding and subtracting radical expressions without fractions, but with the addition of rationalizing the denominator to remove the radical from it. This is done by multiplying the expression by the value 1 in an appropriate form.

Write down the radical expression.

Simplify the first term. (The square root of 9 is 3.)

Rationalize the first term. Multiply the term by a fraction equivalent to 1 using the radical as both the numerator and denominator.

Simplify the rationalized first term. (The square root of 25 is 5.)

Simplify the second term. (Write the term over 1.)

Rationalize the second term. Multiply the term by a fraction equivalent to 1. If possible, use a number that will give us a denominator common to that of the first term in Step 4. (Which is 5 here.)

Simplify the rationalized second term. (It is not possible here.)

Write down the complete expression with the answers from Step 4 and Step 7.

Merge the numerator over the common denominator, if one exists. (5 here.)

Complete the order of operations to get the answer.

Simplify the answer, if possible. (It is not possible here.)

Write down the radical expression.

Repeat Steps 2 through Step 7 from Section 1 above.

Write down the complete expression.

Merge the numerator over the common denominator, if one exists. (5 here.)

Complete the order of operations to get the answer.

Simplify the answer, if possible. (It is not possible here.)

About the Author

John Gugie has been a freelance writer for a decade. His work is diverse, from editorials and research papers to entertainment, humor and more. He holds a degree in finance from Moravian College of Pennsylvania. He writes for several sites including Associated Content, Helium and Examiner.