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What constitutes a rational expression?

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5 Answers

The answers given already are excellent...but I'm just adding...for YOU to answer your question there are two things YOU NEED TO KNOW...so that you understand the content of similar questions.

Do you understand or know what the definitions of an 'expression' and a 'rational number' are? If you know what these definitions mean...you will be able to answer any similar questions. If you don't make sure you do. An expression is 'any numerical symbol or symbols which represents a mathematical value...'

   2...1,000.....4x......πr2...1.24x...sometimes it can be confusing when it comes to quantities(or values inside brackets or parentheses...(2x + 5).....  [4x(x2 - 7)]...a name for them is that they are binomials(or trinomials or more)but they represent a value...   or any symbol like that...make sure you understand that.

So now...what is a rational number. If you know...then great!!!  BUT...if you don't...you would be so much smarter if you know what a rational number/value is...(Hint: look at the word...'ratio'nal number)

Add these two words to your 'ritmetic' vocabulary...and you'll be a genius!!!

An expression that is the ratio of two polynomials.

It is "Rational" because one is divided by the other, like a ratio.

To make it dead simple, a rational expression is just a fraction with some variables shoved in there, either on top or on the bottom, but usually both. It really is that simple to understand what they are, but working with rational expressions can be quite complicated.