Here are the steps required to rationalize the denominator containing two terms:
Step 1: | To rationalize the denominator, you must multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate of the denominator. Remember to find the conjugate all you have to do is change the sign between the two terms. |
Step 2: | Distribute (or FOIL) both the numerator and the denominator. Remember that you can multiply numbers outside the radical with numbers outside the radical and numbers inside the radical with numbers inside the radical. |
Step 3: | Combine like terms. |
Step 4: | Simplify the radicals. Click here to review the steps for Simplifying Radicals. |
Step 5: | Combine like terms. |
Step 6: | Reduce the fraction, if you can. To reduce the fraction, you must reduce EACH number outside the radical by the same number. If you cannot reduce each number outside the radical by the same number, then the fraction cannot be reduced. |
Example 1 – Rationalize the Denominator:
Step 1: To rationalize the denominator, you must multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate of the denominator. Remember to find the conjugate all you have to do is change the sign between the two terms. | |
Step 2: Distribute (or FOIL) both the numerator and the denominator. Remember that you can multiply numbers outside the radical with numbers outside the radical and numbers inside the radical with numbers inside the radical. | |
Step 3: Combine like terms. | |
Step 4: Simplify the radicals. | |
Step 5: Combine like terms. | |
Step 6: Reduce the fraction, if you can. In this case you can not reduce, so the answer is: |
Example 2 - Rationalize the Denominator:
Step 1: To rationalize the denominator, you must multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate of the denominator. Remember to find the conjugate all you have to do is change the sign between the two terms. | |
Step 2: Distribute (or FOIL) both the numerator and the denominator. Remember that you can multiply numbers outside the radical with numbers outside the radical and numbers inside the radical with numbers inside the radical. | |
Step 3: Combine like terms. | |
Step 4: Simplify the radicals. | |
Step 5: Combine like terms. | |
Step 6: Reduce the fraction, if you can. In this case you can reduce each number by 6, so the final answer is: |
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Example 3 - Rationalize the Denominator:
Step 1: To rationalize the denominator, you must multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate of the denominator. Remember to find the conjugate all you have to do is change the sign between the two terms. | |
Step 2: Distribute (or FOIL) both the numerator and the denominator. Remember that you can multiply numbers outside the radical with numbers outside the radical and numbers inside the radical with numbers inside the radical. | |
Step 3: Combine like terms. | |
Step 4: Simplify the radicals. | |
Step 5: Combine like terms. | |
Step 6: Reduce the fraction, if you can. In this case you can reduce each number by 4, so the final answer is: |
Click Here for Practice Problems
Example 4 - Rationalize the Denominator:
Step 1: To rationalize the denominator, you must multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate of the denominator. Remember to find the conjugate all you have to do is change the sign between the two terms. | |
Step 2: Distribute (or FOIL) both the numerator and the denominator. Remember that you can multiply numbers outside the radical with numbers outside the radical and numbers inside the radical with numbers inside the radical. | |
Step 3: Combine like terms. | |
Step 4: Simplify the radicals. | |
Step 5: Combine like terms. | |
Step 6: Reduce the fraction, if you can. In this case you can reduce each number by 4, so the final answer is: |