Kristine D.

asked • 09/29/12# How do you divide

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

Is the correct answer 5m^{2} - 2m + 3

## 3 Answers By Expert Tutors

Kathye P. answered • 09/29/12

Math Geek, passionate about teaching

Hi, Kristine.

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

If the equation was supposed to be:

25m^{5}n - 10m^{4}n + 15m^{3}n / 5m^{3}n

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:

25m^{5n} - 10m^{4n} + 15m^{3n} / 5m^{3n}

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

5m^{2n} - 2m^{n} + 3

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

**5m ^{2} - 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 25m^{5}n - 10m^{4}n + 3

I hope this helps you.

Evan F.

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

09/30/12

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.

Kathye P.

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:

25m^{5}n - 10m^{4}n + 15m^{3}n / 5m^{3}n or

25m^{5n} - 10m^{4n} + 15m^{3n} / 5m^{3n}

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

09/30/12

## Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.

Get a free answer to a quick problem.

Most questions answered within 4 hours.

#### OR

Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.

Kristine D.

The equation was written as a fraction. No parentheses. The n is not part of the exponent.

09/30/12