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Homework Help: Which is more simplified

  1. Jul 28, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    x +/- 3
    is that mroe simplified then writing it out
    x + 3, x - 3
    I thought it would be becaue we normally say simple is when all of the operations that could be done is done in which case the second choice is more simple? I'm just woundering because i'm doing a summer assignment and have no idea if this teacher is a real jerk in grading and would mark it wrong if I put the first one done becaue it's not as simple as possible if it's not as simple as can be...

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2010 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I would go for x +/- 3 as being more simplified, but I would find it hard to believe that anyone would really quibble about a difference between that and x + 3, x - 3.
  4. Jul 28, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I would say the first is more simplified, but there are other cases where I would assume it's easier to read the separated version, for example:



    [tex]7x, -3x-6y[/tex]

    I would go with the second for this case, but for yours I would stick with the first case.
  5. Jul 28, 2010 #4
    I think this really depends on what the information is being used for.

    If the problem involves one answer, for instance, a man throwing a ball off a building (graphing a parabola), the quadratic formula would work out to the two X intercepts, but only one would be correct. In that case X=1 would be the simplified answer.

    If you really have any doubt, I would just put both answers down on the assignment. I really doubt anyone would put both possibilities on a multiple choice assignment.
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