How to Solve Rational Expressions

By Samantha Torrence

A rational expression is an expression whose numerator and denominator are polynomials. For example 2x+3/4+5x is a rational expression. There are many ways of solving a rational expression, one must be able to simplify the rational expression, as well as add subtract multiply and divide to obtain an answer.

Simplifying Rational Expressions

Factor the polynomials in the numerator.

Factor the polynomials in the denominator.

Cancel out the common factors in the rational expression.

Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions

Find the like denominators in the rational expressions if they do not already have like denominators. To Find like denominators find the least common factors in the denominators.

Add or subtract the numerators of the rational expressions with the like denomiators.

Simplify the rational expressions into lowest terms.

Multiply and Divide Rational Expressions

Factor the rational expressions.

Multiply the rational expressions.

Divide rational expressions by multiplying the first rational expression by the reciprocal of the second rational expression. Follow the steps for multiplying fractions.

About the Author

Samantha Torrence has been writing online for over 3 years. Her primary experience has been as a Journalist on DigitalJournal.com focusing on politics and religion. She also writes mantains a blog about the conservative political atmosphere in America. Samantha currently lives in New York and attends Excelsior College majoring in Political Science and Journalism.