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How do you divide

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3 Answers

Hi, Kristine.

It's difficult to tell exactly how your problem is supposed to be written!

If the equation was supposed to be:

25m5n - 10m4n + 15m3n / 5m3n

then your answer is correct. Since you are dividing by a single term, you divide it into each term of the polynomial. However, if the second variable is part of the exponent, like:

25m5n - 10m4n + 15m3n / 5m3n

then you would subtract 5n - 3n, etc. to get:

5m2n - 2mn + 3

Comments

Hi Kristine,

Is the expression in the numerator in brackets? If yes, then you need to use the distributive property and take the common factors out in each term and then divide.

(25m^5n - 10m^4n + 15m^3n)/5m^3n

use ditributive property and take out common

{5m^3n(5m^2 - 2m + 3)}/5m^3n

cancel 5m^3n in the numerator and denomenator and you'll be left with

5m2 - 2m + 3 (answer). Your answer is right if numerator is in brackets

But if the numerator is not in brackets then your answer will change, as you'll be using PEMDAS (order of operations), doing division first and subtraction later.

In this case your answer will look like this 25m5n - 10m4n + 3

I hope this helps you.

Comments

I think it is fair to assume the problem was written as a fraction.

Hi Kristine,

No, the answer is not correct.  The mistake you made is with the variable n.  The right answer is

5m^2n - 2m^n + 3.  The key to this problem is to remember you exponent laws and to also be conscious of subtracting like terms.  I hope this helps.

Comments

Evan,

You're right if the variable n is part of the exponent! It's hard to tell whether the equation was supposed to be:

25m5n - 10m4n + 15m3n / 5m3n      or

25m5n - 10m4n + 15m3n / 5m3n

Your answer is correct for the second equation, and I agree that it is the more likely problem.