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Crescent Girls’ School Mathematics Department

Algebraic Expressions and Formulae

Content

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Evaluation of Algebraic Expressions
2.3 Manipulation of Algebraic Fractions
2.4 Transformation of Formulae
2.5 Summary

2.1 Introduction

 By finding common factors

E.g. Factorize the expression 6a 3 b  2a 2b  8ab .
Each term in the expression contain 2ab .
Therefore,

 By collecting and regrouping the terms

E.g. Factorize 6a  15ab  10b  9a 2

By using the identity a  b   a  b  a  b 

2 2

E.g. Factorize 81a 4  16 completely.

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 By inspection
E.g. Find the factors of 2 x 2  7 x  15

Consider the following example:

Example 2a:

a2  b2
Evaluate if a=32 and b=22.
a 2  b 2  2ab

Notice that the working is very tedious if we do not manipulate the algebraic expression before we
compute.

Thus, a simpler way will be

a2  b2
=
a 2  b 2  2ab

See that the computation becomes much simpler and easier to compute.
The following Algebraic Rules are very useful in evaluating Algebraic Expression

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Practice 1

Evaluate, without using a calculator, the following expression.

a 2  2ab  b 2 1 1
a) if a  and b  
ab 19 20

b2
b) a if a  1.25 and b  11 .25
a

a 2  2ab  b 2 1 1
c) if a  and b  
2a  ab  b
2 2 8 9

Consider the following example:

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Example 2b:

10
Evaluate  p  q 2  q given that p  3 and q  . Calculator is allowed. Give your answer
7
correct to 2 decimal places.

 p  q2  q =

Note that:

Example:  p  q 2 = _________________ q = _______________________

 p  q 2  q = ____________________

which is not the accurate answer.

Practice 2:
5 9
a) Evaluate a  b  c 2 given that a  , b  5 and c  .
3 4

7
b) Evaluate  p  q 2  q given that p  4 and q  .
2

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Consider the following example:

Example 2c:
Evaluate, without using a calculator, the following expression.
ab  cd
if a  82 , b  18 , c  41 and d  164 .
ab

ab  cd
=
ab

Observe that 164  82  2 . Thus 82  18  41 2  82 is of the form ab  ac where we can

extract the common factor 82.

Practice 3
a) Evaluate, without using a calculator, the following expression
ab  cd
if a  18 , b  17 , c  6 and d  264 .
a2  b2

Homework
Practice 2A Pg 26
Q1b; 2c, d; 3b, d; 5a, d, f, i
2.3 Manipulation of Algebraic Fractions

We shall revise some of the important skills in manipulating algebraic fractions and consider some
harder examples.

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Consider the following example:

Example 2d:

Factorise a) x 2  x b) 18  10 x  8 x 2

a) x 2  x = __________________________

b) 18  10 x  8 x 2 = __________________________

3x 2  3x
Hence simply .
18  10 x  8 x 2

3x 2  3x
=
18  10 x  8 x 2

Consider the following example:

Example 2e:

5m  2 p 1
Simplify  .
4m  mp  3 p
2 2
4m  3 p

5m  2 p 1
 =
4m  mp  3 p
2 2
4 m  3p

Practice 4

3x  2 3x  1
a) Simplify  2
x  3x  2 x  2x
2

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3 p  15r
b) Simplify  2
p  3r p  9r 2

x2 x 3
c) Simplify  2
x  3x  2 x  x  6
2

Homework
Practice 2B Pg 29
Q3, 4, 5, 6; Q7b, d; Q8q, r, s, t
2.4 Transformation of Formulae

x
Consider the equation a  b
3

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It is a __________________ equation. In which x is the unknown and a and b are treated as if they
are known numbers.

c
If we replace x by c in this equation, we have a  b.
3

We may refer to this equality as a _________________ with ______ as the subject.

We can readily find the value of a given values of b and c.

However if we are given the value of a and b, where c is the unknown, we can transform the formula
by making c the subject before we use substitution.

Example:
c
a   b . Find c when a=5 and b=6.
3

Then substitute in the values of a and b.

When solving problems that involve square roots such as the problem below, square both sides of
the equation.

Example 2f:

a) If a  1  2b , make a the subject of the formula.

m2
b) If t 2  , make m the subject of the formula.
m5

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Practice 5

x v2
1. Solve for v in  1 2
y u

p 1 h  2k
2. Make h the subject of the formula 
q 3n 3h  k

Homework
Practice 2C Pg 32
Q1b, d, e, f, h; Q2c, g, k, m, n
Practice 6

x 2  3 x  7 18  3 x
1. Simplify 
x 5 5x

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qr
2. Given that p  , make q the subject of the formula. Find the value of q when
qr
p  1.2 and r  1450 .

3. Express s in terms of p and q in 2 ps 2  3qs 2  5 p

2 2x  1 x
4. Express  2  as a single fraction.
x  3 x  4x  3 3  x

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12 x 2  3
5. Evaluate when given x  13 .
6x 2  9x  6

2.5 Summary

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Evaluation of Algebraic Expressions

We simplify the expression first where possible before computing
result.
Example:
Evaluate if and

Manipulation of Algebraic Fractions

Examples:
Simplify
We factorise the numerator and denominator and then eliminate the
common factor.

Simplify
We factorise the denominator to identify a common denominator.

Transformation of Formulae
We can transform a formula before we use substitution to solve it.
Find x where given that , and .

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