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I have the polynomial x^2+2x-8 and when I tried to factor it, I just ended up confusing myself. Can anyone please help make sense of this?

  • Mathematics - ,

    Can you think of two numbers which when multiplied give you -8 (the last number) and when added will give you +2 (the coefficient of the middle term) ?
    How about 4 and -2, so .... (4)(-2 = -8 , 4 + (-2) = +2

    x^2 + 2x - 8
    = (x+4)(x-2)

    If the coefficient of the square term is 1, like in x^2, follow the above method.
    If there are factors, it will work.

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