Select Page

# Multiplying Rational Expressions Worksheet, Examples, and Denominators

Get the free Multiplying Rational Expressions Worksheet and other resources for teaching & understanding how to Multiply Rational Expressions

Check Out Mathcation!

### Key Points about Multiplying Rational Expressions

• Rational expressions are ratios of two polynomials that can be simplified by factoring and canceling out common factors.
• To multiply rational expressions, you need to multiply their numerators and denominators separately, factoring, canceling out common factors, and then multiplying the remaining factors.
• Multiplying rational expressions can be challenging, but with practice, it becomes easier.

## Multiplying Rational Expressions: A Clear Guide

Multiplying rational expressions is a fundamental concept in algebra that is essential for solving complex equations. Rational expressions are ratios of two polynomials, and multiplying them involves multiplying their numerators and denominators. However, before diving into multiplying rational expressions, one must understand what rational expressions are.

Rational expressions are algebraic expressions that can be written as the ratio of two polynomials. They are similar to fractions, but instead of integers, they have variables in the numerator and denominator. Rational expressions can be simplified by factoring the numerator and denominator, canceling out common factors, and reducing the expression to its lowest terms. Once you understand what rational expressions are, you can move on to multiplying them.

To multiply rational expressions, you need to multiply their numerators and denominators separately. This involves factoring both the numerator and denominator, canceling out common factors, and then multiplying the remaining factors. Multiplying rational expressions can be tricky, especially when dealing with variables, but with practice, it becomes easier. In this article, we will discuss how to multiply rational expressions, provide examples, and answer frequently asked questions.

Common Core Standard:

## How to Multiply Rational Expressions

Multiplying rational expressions involves multiplying the numerators and denominators separately and then simplifying the result. The goal is to obtain a simplified rational expression that cannot be further simplified. Here are the steps to follow when multiplying rational expressions:

1. Factor the numerator and denominator of each rational expression.
2. Cancel any common factors between the numerators and denominators of the rational expressions being multiplied.
3. Multiply the remaining factors in the numerators and denominators of the rational expressions.
4. Simplify the result by factoring and canceling any common factors.

It is important to note that when multiplying rational expressions, the domain of the resulting expression must be considered. Any values that make the denominator equal to zero must be excluded from the domain.

Here is an example of how to multiply two rational expressions:

(4x + 8)/(3x – 6) * (2x – 6)/(x + 2)

1. Factor the numerator and denominator of each rational expression:

(4(x + 2))/(3(x – 2)) * 2(x – 3)/(x + 2)

1. Cancel any common factors between the numerators and denominators of the rational expressions being multiplied:

(2 * 2 * (x + 2))/(3 * (x – 2) * (x + 2)) * (2 * (x – 3))/(1 * (x + 2))

1. Multiply the remaining factors in the numerators and denominators of the rational expressions:

(4 * (x – 3))/(3 * (x – 2))

1. Simplify the result by factoring and canceling any common factors:

(4x – 12)/(3x – 6) = (4(x – 3))/(3(x – 2))

Therefore, the product of the two rational expressions is (4(x – 3))/(3(x – 2)).

By following the above steps, any two rational expressions can be multiplied.

## Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions

When working with rational expressions, it’s important to know how to multiply and divide them. These operations are similar to multiplying and dividing numerical fractions, but with a few extra steps.

### Multiplying Rational Expressions

To multiply rational expressions, you simply multiply the numerators together and the denominators together. If possible, you should simplify the resulting expression by canceling out any common factors.

Here’s an example:

(3x + 2)(2x – 5)

————–

(4x – 3)(x + 1)

To multiply these rational expressions, you would first multiply the numerators together and the denominators together:

(3x + 2)(2x – 5) = 6x^2 – 11x – 10

————–

(4x – 3)(x + 1) = 4x^2 + x – 3

Then, you can simplify the resulting expression by canceling out any common factors:

6x^2 – 11x – 10

————–

4x^2 + x – 3

### Dividing Rational Expressions

To divide rational expressions, you multiply the first expression by the reciprocal of the second expression. This means you flip the second expression (switch the numerator and denominator) and then multiply it by the first expression.

Here’s an example:

3     2

— ÷ —

x+1   x-2

To divide these rational expressions, you would first flip the second expression:

3     2     x-2

— ÷ — = —

x+1   x-2   x+1

Then, you would multiply the first expression by the reciprocal of the second expression:

3(x – 2)

——–

(x + 1)2

Finally, you can simplify the resulting expression by canceling out any common factors.

### Simplifying Rational Expressions

When multiplying or dividing rational expressions, it’s important to simplify the resulting expression as much as possible. This involves canceling out any common factors and factoring the resulting expression.

Here’s an example:

x^2 – 4

——–

x^2 – 2x – 15

To simplify this rational expression, you would first factor both the numerator and denominator:

(x + 2)(x – 2)

————

(x – 5)(x + 3)

Then, you can cancel out any common factors:

(x + 2)

——-

(x – 5)(x + 3)

This resulting expression is the simplified form of the original rational expression.

### Examples

Here are a few more examples of multiplying and dividing rational expressions:

#### Example 1: Multiplying Rational Expressions

(4x – 3)(x + 2)

————–

(2x + 1)(x – 5)

To multiply these rational expressions, you would first multiply the numerators together and the denominators together:

(4x – 3)(x + 2) = 4x^2 – 5x – 6

————–

(2x + 1)(x – 5) = 2x^2 – 9x – 5

Then, you can simplify the resulting expression by canceling out any common factors:

4x^2 – 5x – 6

————–

2x^2 – 9x – 5

#### Example 2: Dividing Rational Expressions

2x – 6

——

x^2 – 4

——

x + 2

——

x^2 – x – 6

To divide these rational expressions, you would first flip the second expression:

2x – 6     x^2 – x – 6

—— ÷ ————

x^2 – 4     x + 2

Then, you would multiply the first expression by the reciprocal of the second expression:

(2x – 6)(x + 2)

—————

(x^2 – 4)(x – 1)

Finally, you can simplify the resulting expression by canceling out any common factors:

2(x + 1)

——–

(x – 1)(x + 2)

## Multiplying Rational Expressions Examples

Multiplying rational expressions involves multiplying the numerators together and multiplying the denominators together. Here are a few examples to illustrate the process:

### Example 1:

Multiply the rational expressions below:

(3x^2)/(2) * (2)/(9x)

To solve this expression, first, multiply the numerators together:

3x^2 * 2 = 6x^2

Then, multiply the denominators together:

2 * 9x = 18x

(6x^2)/(18x) = (x)/3

### Example 2:

Multiply the rational expressions below:

(5x)/(3y^2) * (3y)/(7x^2)

To solve this expression, first, multiply the numerators together:

5x * 3y = 15xy

Then, multiply the denominators together:

3y^2 * 7x^2 = 21x^2y^2

(15xy)/(21x^2y^2) = (5)/(7x)

### Example 3:

Multiply the rational expressions below:

(x^2 – 4)/(x + 2) * (x + 2)/(x^2 – 4x + 4)

To solve this expression, first, factor the denominators:

(x + 2) * (x – 2)/(x + 2) * (x – 2)

Then, cancel out the common factor of (x + 2):

(x – 2)/(x – 2) = 1

(x^2 – 4)/(x^2 – 4x + 4) = 1

### Example 4:

Multiply the rational expressions below:

(2x^3 – 3x^2 + 4x – 5)/(x^2 – 2x + 1) * (3x – 2)/(x – 1)

To solve this expression, first, factor the denominators:

(2x – 1)(x – 1)/(x – 1)(x – 1) * (3x – 2)/(x – 1)

Then, cancel out the common factor of (x – 1):

(2x^3 – 3x^2 + 4x – 5)/(x^2 – 2x + 1) * (3x – 2)/(x – 1) = (2x – 1)(3x – 2)/(x – 1)

(2x – 1)(3x – 2)/(x – 1)

## Multiplying Rational Expressions with Variables

Multiplying rational expressions with variables is similar to multiplying numerical fractions. The process involves multiplying the numerators and denominators separately and simplifying the result as much as possible.

To multiply rational expressions with variables, follow these steps:

1. Factor both the numerator and denominator of each fraction.
2. Cancel out any common factors between the numerators and denominators.
3. Multiply the remaining factors in the numerator and denominator.

For example, let’s multiply the rational expressions (3x^2y)/(5z) and (2yz)/(7x^3):

1. Factor the first expression to get (3xy)(x)/(5z).
2. Factor the second expression to get (2yz)/(7x^3).
3. Cancel out the common factor (xy) between the two expressions.
4. Multiply the remaining factors in the numerator and denominator to get (6)/(35x^2z^2).

It’s important to simplify the result as much as possible to get the simplest form of the product. In the example above, the final answer can be simplified further by dividing both the numerator and denominator by 1, which gives us (6)/(35x^2z^2).

When multiplying rational expressions with variables, it’s also important to watch out for any restrictions on the variables. If any of the variables have restrictions, such as being undefined for certain values, those restrictions must be taken into account when simplifying the result.

In summary, multiplying rational expressions with variables involves factoring, canceling out common factors, and multiplying the remaining factors in the numerator and denominator. It’s important to simplify the result as much as possible and take into account any restrictions on the variables.

## What are Rational Expressions?

A rational expression is a fraction where the numerator and denominator are polynomials. A polynomial is a mathematical expression consisting of variables and coefficients, combined using arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Rational expressions can be simplified by canceling out common factors in the numerator and denominator.

### Factoring in Rational Expressions

Factoring is the process of breaking down a polynomial into its constituent parts. In rational expressions, factoring is used to simplify the expression by canceling out common factors in the numerator and denominator. For example, consider the expression (x^2 – 4)/(x – 2). This expression can be factored as (x + 2)(x – 2)/(x – 2). The (x – 2) factor in the numerator and denominator can be canceled out, leaving the simplified expression of x + 2.

### Fundamentals of Multiplication

Multiplying rational expressions involves multiplying the numerators together and multiplying the denominators together. For example, consider the expression (2x + 1)/(x^2 – 4) * (x – 2)/(x + 3). The numerator of the first expression is (2x + 1) and the numerator of the second expression is (x – 2). Multiplying the numerators together gives (2x + 1)(x – 2). The denominator of the first expression is (x^2 – 4) and the denominator of the second expression is (x + 3). Multiplying the denominators together gives (x^2 – 4)(x + 3). The final expression after simplification is (2x + 1)/(x + 3).

### Domains and Restrictions

The domain of a rational expression includes all real numbers except those that make the denominator equal to zero. For example, consider the expression 1/(x – 2). The denominator cannot be equal to zero, so x cannot be equal to 2. Therefore, the domain of the expression is all real numbers except 2.

### Applications of Rational Expressions

Rational expressions have many applications in mathematics, science, and engineering. For example, in physics, rational expressions can be used to model the motion of objects. In finance, rational expressions can be used to calculate interest rates and loan payments. In computer science, rational expressions can be used to represent data structures and algorithms.

## Multiplying Rational Expressions FAQ

### What is the process for multiplying two rational expressions?

To multiply two rational expressions, you need to multiply the numerators and denominators separately and then simplify the result. This process is similar to multiplying numerical fractions.

### What is the rule for multiplying rational numbers?

The rule for multiplying rational numbers is to multiply the numerators together and the denominators together. This rule also applies to rational expressions.

### What are the rules for rational expressions?

The rules for rational expressions include adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. To add or subtract rational expressions, you need to find a common denominator. To multiply or divide rational expressions, you simply multiply or divide the numerators and denominators separately.

### What are some examples of multiplying rational expressions?

An example of multiplying rational expressions is (3x/2) * (2/9x). To solve this, you would multiply the numerators (3x * 2) and the denominators (2 * 9x) separately, which results in 6/18x^2. You can simplify this by dividing both the numerator and denominator by 6, which gives you 1/3x^2.

### How do you multiply rational expressions with multiple variables?

To multiply rational expressions with multiple variables, you would follow the same process as with a single variable. You would multiply the numerators and denominators separately and then simplify the result. For example, (3x^2y/2z) * (4z/5xy^2) would result in 12x/10y.

###### Practice makes Perfect.

We have hundreds of math worksheets for you to master.