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Homework Help: Quick simplification question

  1. Feb 21, 2005 #1
    This might be a dumb question, but in my Algebra book, for the problem:

    Solve R = 3(a + b) for b

    I came up with: [tex]\frac{R}{3} - a = b[/tex]
    The book has the answer listed as: [tex]\frac{R-3a}{3} = b[/tex]

    Which one is simplified? The book tells us to always give your answers in simplified form. To me, my answer seems more simplified than the book's answer since I removed the 3 in the numerator. Is it? Or is there some reason the answer should be left as the book has it?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2005 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Your answer is fine, and so is the book's. Only a crazy teacher would ever mark you down for giving one where the other was "expected".
  4. Feb 21, 2005 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Look at it this way:to compute "b",you have to do 2 operations only:a division & a subtraction,while the book does 3:a multiplication,a subtraction & a division...

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