algebra

Why is it important to simplify radical expressions before adding or subtracting?

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  1. note that you cannot combine radical terms if their radicands (the terms inside the radical sign) are not equal.

    for example,
    sqrt(8) + sqrt(18)
    you cannot add them right away since 8 is not equal to 18,, thus we first simplify each term.
    for sqrt(8), note that we can rewrite it as
    sqrt(2*2*2) = 2*sqrt(2)
    for sqrt(18), note that we can rewrite it as
    sqrt(2*3*3) = 3*sqrt(2)
    since the radicands are equal, we can add them:
    2*sqrt(2) + 3*sqrt(2) = 5*sqrt(2)

    hope this helps~ :)

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