Common Algebra Mistakes
Example: Improper Cancellation

The Goal

Simplify the rational expression:


The Mistake

Find the algebra mistake:


(Roll the mouse over the algebra to see a hint in red)

The Correction


(Roll the mouse over the area above to see the correction in blue)

An Explanation

Any quantity to be canceled must be a common factor of the entire numerator and the entire denominator. Factor the h out in the numerator first, then cancel.
(For the equality to hold, the canceled factor must also be nonzero.)

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