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What constitutes a rational expression? How would you explain this concept to someone unfamiliar with it?

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1 Answer

Hi Harry,
When we use the word "rational" in algebra we are referring to quantities that look like fractions (1/2, 1/x+4) or that can be made to look like fractions ( 2 2/3 = 8/3, 5 = 5/1). Therefore, a rational exponent is a fractional exponent and a rational expression is an expression that contains a fraction. When you add or subtract rational expressions with unlike denominators they could be numerical (1/2 + 2/3) or algebraic
(1/ x - 3/y).
I hope that this helps you.
Beth