
Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions
1. Multiplying and dividing rational expressions is
similar to multiplying
and dividing fractions.
2. Multiply Rational Expressions: Multiply their
numerators and
multiply their denominators. If and
are rational expressions,
then
3. To write the result in lowest terms, factor each
numerator and each
denominator before you multiply and divide out common factors.
Then multiply. (The answer is often left in factored form.)
4. Dividing Rational Expressions: To divide two
rational expressions,
multiply the first rational expression by the reciprocal of the second.
That is, if and
are rational expressions and
then
Be sure to cancel common factors after you have found the
reciprocal
of the second rational expression.
