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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

Some useful common identities:

 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

2.2 Evaluation of Algebraic Expressions

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:

If  p  q 2 is evaluated correct to 2 decimal places before subtracting q , accuracy may be lost.

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

Transform the formula by making c the subject.

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.

Consider the following example:

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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