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My homework is to solve by completing the square. But how can you complete the square on this problem?

-3x^2 + 7x - 8

The -3 doesn't factor out.

  • Algebra -

    Is the expression you just wrote supposed to be equal to zero? You cannot solve for x unless you write an equation.

    Write it as -3[x^2 - (7/3)x + 8/3]= 0
    This implies [x^2 - (7/3)x + 8/3]= 0
    For a perfect square within the brackets, you'd want to rewrite it as
    [x-(7/6)]^2 + 8/3 - 49/36
    = [x-(7/6)]^2 + 47/36 = 0

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