Algebra 1

Published by Prentice Hall
ISBN 10: 0133500403
ISBN 13: 978-0-13350-040-0

Chapter 11 - Rational Expressions and Functions - 11-2 Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions - Lesson Check: 7

Answer

No, $\frac{\frac{a}{b}}{c} \neq \frac{a}{\frac{b}{c}}$ in most cases. When c = 1 or -1, then the equality holds.

Work Step by Step

We first write $\frac{\frac{a}{b}}{c}$ as a quotient: $\frac{\frac{a}{b}}{c} = \frac{a}{b}\div{c}$ Note that the reciprocal of $\frac{x}{y}$ is $\frac{y}{x}$. Also, dividing by a fraction is the same as multiplying by that fraction's reciprocal. $\frac{a}{b}\cdot\frac{1}{c} = \frac{a}{bc}$ Now write $\frac{a}{\frac{b}{c}}$ as a quotient: $\frac{a}{\frac{b}{c}} = a \div \frac{b}{c} = a \cdot \frac{c}{b} = \frac{ac}{b}$ If the two fractions were to equal, then $\frac{a}{bc} = \frac{ac}{b} \rightarrow \frac{\frac{a}{bc}}{\frac{ac}{b}} = 1 \rightarrow \frac{1}{c^2} = 1 \rightarrow c^2 = 1$ So these two fractions are equal if $c = -1, 1$
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