- Thread starter Dominic
- Start date

- Joined
- Dec 11, 2004

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- 199

s^2 - x - 6

cannot be factored. I think you meant to write

s² - s - 6

This can be factored. But first allow me to give you a little lesson.

The standard form of a quadratic is

Ax² + Bx + C = 0

The idea in factoring quadratics is to find two numbers whose sum is equal to B and whose product is equal to the product of A * C

Now back to the equation

s² - s - 6

Here, B = -1

And, A * C = -6

So, find two numbers such that

_ + _ = -1

_ * _ = -6

The possible pairs of numbers to use are the factors of -6:

1,-6

-1,6

2,-3

-3,2

The pair of numbers that you want are 2 and -3.

Now check with the two equations

-3 + 2 = -1

-3 * 2 = -6

Therefore, the factors for the equation

s² - s - 6

are

(s - 3)(s + 2)

- Joined
- Apr 12, 2005

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- 9,778

'x'? How about "the expression"?Dominic said:I think my answer is that x cannot be a factor.

- Joined
- Apr 12, 2005

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- 9,778

Your answer makes no sense and bears little relationship with the original expression, except for using the same symbols. How did you get that as a plausible answer?

My guess is, if you have reported the problem as it was published, that it was published incorrectly. Don't lose any more sleep over this one.

- Joined
- Jun 27, 2005

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- 87

my mathbooks always did that