Rational Functions

Adding/Subtracting Rational Expressions

Adding/Subtracting Rational Expressions

ALWAYS OBEY YOUR NORMAL FRACTION RULES

1. You Must Have a Common Denominator

2. Multiply each fraction by a common factor if necessary.

3. Add/Subtract your numerators; Keep the same denominator.

4. SIMPLIFY!

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Example Problems #1 and #2

Notice how the two examples above already have a common denominator; so you just add the two numerators and keep the same denominator.

PRACTICE PROBLEMS

Try the problems below for some practice before the assignment. These problems will be your practice problems and will go in with your notes.
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Simplifying Rational Expressions

Here is a short video of How To simplify a rational expression. Notice that it involves factoring. If you're not comfortable with factoring click here for some refresher examples and videos.
Simplifying Rational Expressions | MathHelp.com

RECAP

So there you go!


  1. You add and subtract rational expressions in exactly the same way that you do fractions. BECAUSE THE ARE FRACTIONS!
  2. When you're done adding or subtracting you need to simplify your expressions by factoring and canceling out terms that are the same on your fraction's numerator and denominator.

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