# Factor

#### Dominic

##### Junior Member
Factor is possible. Write prime if expression cannot be factored:
s^2 - x - 6

s - x -6

Is that correct?

#### ChaoticLlama

##### Junior Member
I think you should copy down the question exactly as it was because this equation

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)

#### Dominic

##### Junior Member
ChaoticLlama, I wrote the problem the way the book shows it.

Factor if possible. Write prime if expression cannot be factored: s^2 - x - 6

I think my answer is that x cannot be a factor.

#### tkhunny

##### Moderator
Staff member
Dominic said:
I think my answer is that x cannot be a factor.

#### Dominic

##### Junior Member
I was working out the problem.

s - x - 6

#### tkhunny

##### Moderator
Staff member
If the problem has been presented correctly, exactly as published, and it was published correctly, it really makes no sense.

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.

Thank you

#### ~Midnight.Kitten~

##### Junior Member
my mathbooks always did that