Posted by **Jennifer** on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 8:24pm.

When simplifying a rational fraction, why do you need to factor the numerator and the denominator?

If there is a common factor in both the numerator and denominator, that factor will cancel, thus simplifying the fraction.

e.g.

15/18 = (3*5)/3*6)

=(3/3)*(5/6)

=(1)*5/6

=5/6

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