# Inequalities with two different fractions which include x in the denominator.

by TheAbsoluTurk
Tags: denominator, fractions, include, inequalities
 P: 100 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data (x-2)/(x+3) less than (x+1)/(x) 3. The attempt at a solution I broke it up into cases. When x+3 less than 0 and x less than 0 and then when both are positive, when one is positive and the other is negative and then the other way around. I'm not sure if that's the right way though. I was thinking that maybe you can say: (x+3)(x) less than 0 and a second case (x+3)(x) greater than 0
 P: 328 (x+3) and x are not independent. You have to consider the value ranges of x. Perhaps a good place to start is to consider the value of each expression as they pass the "difficult" value of x in each case, and how those behave as x is large-negative and large-positive in each case again. There are three relevant ranges of x, one of which is a little trickier than the other two.
P: 100
 Quote by Joffan There are three relevant ranges of x, one of which is a little trickier than the other two.
So you mean to say x≠-3 and x≠0 and x≠ some other number?

P: 328

## Inequalities with two different fractions which include x in the denominator.

One of the ranges is x < -3
P: 100
 Quote by Joffan One of the ranges is x < -3
You mean x < -3 is not in the 'solution set' right? x is -4 makes it not a true statement.

After trying the first method again (the textbook's method except they didn't show any examples with two fractions both with x in the denominator) I found that x > -3 , x cannot equal -1/2 , 0
 P: 328 x can equal anything. Of the two expressions being considered in the question, each one is undefined at one value of x (which you already have indicated you know). {x<-3} is a range of values where both expressions are well-defined. You might like to explore this range with some values of x (like -4, -5, -10) to see how the functions are behaving.
 P: 100 When you input -4 for x, you get 6 < 0.75 which means that x < -3 is not a part of the solution right? When you input -1/2 for x, you get -1 < -1 which again is not true. Although plugging values is good to check answers, I wanted to know if my method was correct. I don't have the answer to this question though. What I did was solve for x under all circumstances. When x+3 > 0 and x > 0 and then when x+3 < 0 and x < 0 and then when x+3 > 0 but x < 0 then when x+3 < 0 and x > 0 The idea behind this is that when solving for x, multiplying by -(x+3) or -(x) would switch the inequality sign. So the possibility that one or the other or both are positive or negative becomes an issue. Is this a correct way to solve this inequality?
PF Patron
HW Helper
Emeritus
P: 7,077
 Quote by TheAbsoluTurk 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data (x-2)/(x+3) less than (x+1)/(x) 3. The attempt at a solution I broke it up into cases. When x+3 less than 0 and x less than 0 and then when both are positive, when one is positive and the other is negative and then the other way around. I'm not sure if that's the right way though. I was thinking that maybe you can say: (x+3)(x) less than 0 and a second case (x+3)(x) greater than 0
It seems a lot easier to write $\displaystyle \ \ \frac{x-2}{x+3}<\frac{x+1}{x}$

as the equivalent inequality: $\displaystyle \ \ \frac{x-2}{x+3}-\frac{x+1}{x}<0\ .$

Then use a common denominator to combine the two fractions into one fraction.
P: 100
 Quote by SammyS It seems a lot easier to write $\displaystyle \ \ \frac{x-2}{x+3}<\frac{x+1}{x}$ as the equivalent inequality: $\displaystyle \ \ \frac{x-2}{x+3}-\frac{x+1}{x}<0\ .$ Then use a common denominator to combine the two fractions into one fraction.
Don't you still have to consider that x + 3 and x could be negative?
PF Patron
Thanks
Emeritus
P: 38,406
Yes, it is really the same thing.

 When x+3 less than 0 and x less than 0 and then when both are positive, when one is positive and the other is negative and then the other way around.
Well, x+3< 0 is the same as x< -3 and, then, of course, x< 0.
The three cases you want to consider are
x< -3 when x+3< 0 and x< 0 are BOTH true.

$-3\le x< 0$ when $x+ 3\le 0$ and x< 0.

$0\le x$ when both x+3> 0 and $x\ge 0$.
P: 100
 Quote by HallsofIvy Yes, it is really the same thing. Well, x+3< 0 is the same as x< -3 and, then, of course, x< 0. The three cases you want to consider are x< -3 when x+3< 0 and x< 0 are BOTH true. $-3\le x< 0$ when $x+ 3\le 0$ and x< 0. $0\le x$ when both x+3> 0 and $x\ge 0$.
Yes, I quickly found out that when both are negative and when x+3<0 and x>0 there are no solutions. Maybe in the future I will have the instinct to realize that from the start. But for now I am just trying to get the medthod down.

I got the same answer by putting both terms together and finding the commoj denomintor. Surely the answer must be correct.

I thank you all for your help in rehabilitating my mathematics.
 P: 328 You're not done yet. It's possible to establish the answer for the ranges {x<-3} and {x>0} just by considering function values relative to 1 (= x/x). However, the intermediate range {-3
P: 100
 Quote by Joffan You're not done yet. It's possible to establish the answer for the ranges {x<-3} and {x>0} just by considering function values relative to 1 (= x/x). However, the intermediate range {-3
Are you supposed to state that there are asymptotes at -3 and 0 ?

x cannot be -1/2 is that what you're referring to?
PF Patron
HW Helper
Emeritus
P: 7,077
 Quote by SammyS ... the equivalent inequality: $\displaystyle \ \ \frac{x-2}{x+3}-\frac{x+1}{x}<0\ .$ Then use a common denominator to combine the two fractions into one fraction.
 Quote by TheAbsoluTurk Don't you still have to consider that x + 3 and x could be negative?
The resulting inequality is: $\displaystyle \ \ \frac{-6x-3}{x(x+3)}<0\ .$

This simplifies to: $\displaystyle \ \ \frac{2x+1}{x(x+3)}>0\ .$

You have three factors, one in the numerator and two in the denominator. Either all three must be positive, or one must be positive and two of them negative.
 P: 328 There is another range for x which satisfies the condition. Both original expressions - and the combined expression too - are valid for ##x = -\frac 12## SammyS's simplified expression can also be expressed as $$\frac{x+\frac 12}{x(x+3)}>0$$
 P: 100 It seems like I kept making careless errors. Thank you all for being patient with me. -3 < x < -1/2 , x > 0 That should be the right answer.
 PF Patron Sci Advisor Thanks Emeritus P: 38,406 You want to determine when $(x-2)/(x+3)< (x+1)/(x)$. As I said before, since we clearly want to multiply both sides by x+ 3 and x, to clear the fractions, we need to consider when they are positive of negative. So consider 3 cases: 1) x< -3. Then both x+ 3 and x are negative. Multiplying the above inequality by x(x+ 3) is multiplying by a positive number (the product of two negatives) so the direction of inequality does not change. $(x- 2)(x)< (x+ 3)(x+ 1)$. $x^2- 2x< x^2+ 4x+ 3$. Subtract $x^2$ from both sides to get $-2x< 4x+ 3$ so that $0< 6x+ 3= 3(x+ 1)$. Dividing both sides by the positive number 3, we have $0< x+ 1$ or $x< -1$ which can't happen when x< -3. 2) -3< x< 0. Now x+ 3 is positive but x is still negative. Multiplying both sides by x(x+ 3) is now multiplying by a negative number and changes the direction of the inequality: $(x- 2)(x)> (x+ 3)(x+ 1)$. The same calculations as before go through with the changed inequality sign: $x< -2$. That tells us that the orignal inequality is true for $-3< x< -2$. 3) x> 0. Now both x+ 3 and x are positive so j=multiplying both sides of the inequality by x(x+ 3) does not change the sign: $(x- 2)(x)< (x+ 3)(x+ 1)$ and again we get $x> -1$. Of course that is true for all x> 0 so we have the inequality true for all x> 0. We have, so far, that the inequality is true for -3< x< -2 and x> 0. You should also check to see if it is true at x= -3, x= -2, and x= 0.
P: 100
 Quote by HallsofIvy You want to determine when $(x-2)/(x+3)\le (x+1)/(x)$. As I said before, since we clearly want to multiply both sides by x+ 3 and x, to clear the fractions, we need to consider when they are positive of negative. So consider 3 cases: 1) x< -3. Then both x+ 3 and x are negative. Multiplying the above inequality by x(x+ 3) is multiplying by a positive number (the product of two negatives) so the direction of inequality does not change. $(x- 2)(x)\le (x+ 3)(x+ 1)$. $x^2- 2x\le x^2+ 4x+ 3$. Subtract $x^2$ from both sides to get $-2x\le 4x+ 3$ so that $0\le 6x+ 3= 3(x+ 2)$. Dividing both sides by the positive number 3, we have $0\le x+ 2$ or $x\ge -2$ which can't happen when x< -3. 2) -3< x< 0. Now x+ 3 is positive but x is still negative. Multiplying both sides by x(x+ 3) is now multiplying by a negative number and changes the direction of the inequality: $(x- 2)(x)\ge (x+ 3)(x+ 1)$. The same calculations as before go through with the changed inequality sign: $x\le -2$. That tells us that the orignal inequality is true for $-3< x< -2$. 3) x> 0. Now both x+ 3 and x are positive so j=multiplying both sides of the inequality by x(x+ 3) does not change the sign: $(x- 2)(x)\le (x+ 3)(x+ 1)[itex] and again we get [itex]x\ge -2$. Of course that is true for all x> 0 so we have the inequality true for all x> 0. We have, so far, that the inequality is true for -3< x< -2 and x> 0. You should also check to see if it is true at x= -3, x= -2, and x= 0.
I think you made a mistake in the firsf case where you ended up with 3(x+2)

Also the question didn't include any inequality symbols with equal signs. (No line under the inequality is what I mean.

 Related Discussions General Math 1 Calculus & Beyond Homework 6 General Math 1 Precalculus Mathematics Homework 13 General Math 7