# Simplifying this equation

1. Sep 8, 2011

### stonecoldgen

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
simplify:

(x^(a-1))/x^((3a+4))

2. Relevant equations

i was really dumb to think laws of logarithms would help me, but obviously not...

3. The attempt at a solution

the only thing i know is that the a's cant cancel!! i dont know what to do !!!

2. Sep 8, 2011

### czelaya

x^a/x^b=(x^a)(x^-b)

Then,

(x^a)(x^-b)=x^[(a)(-b)]

In the problem you presented think FOIL.

3. Sep 8, 2011

### eumyang

Do you mean this?
$$\frac{x^{a-1}}{x^{3a+4}}$$
BTW, I don't mean to nitpick, but this is not an equation. It is an expression. Please don't confuse the two.

If that's an a times negative b at the end, then that is not correct. We need to use one of the properties of exponents, mainly this one:
$$\frac{x^m}{x^n}=x^{m-n}$$