<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Factor perfect square trinomials
  • Factor differences of squares
  • Factor sums and differences of cubes
  • Choose method to factor a polynomial completely

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

  1. Simplify: ( 12 x ) 2 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  2. Multiply: ( m + 4 ) 2 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  3. Multiply: ( p 9 ) 2 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  4. Multiply: ( k + 3 ) ( k 3 ) .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .

The strategy for factoring we developed in the last section will guide you as you factor most binomials, trinomials, and polynomials with more than three terms. We have seen that some binomials and trinomials result from special products—squaring binomials and multiplying conjugates. If you learn to recognize these kinds of polynomials, you can use the special products patterns to factor them much more quickly.

Factor perfect square trinomials

Some trinomials are perfect squares. They result from multiplying a binomial times itself. You can square a binomial by using FOIL, but using the Binomial Squares pattern you saw in a previous chapter saves you a step. Let’s review the Binomial Squares pattern by squaring a binomial using FOIL.

This image shows the FOIL procedure for multiplying (3x + 4) squared. The polynomial is written with two factors (3x + 4)(3x + 4). Then, the terms are 9 x squared + 12 x + 12 x + 16, demonstrating first, outer, inner, last. Finally, the product is written, 9 x squared + 24 x + 16.

The first term is the square of the first term of the binomial and the last term is the square of the last. The middle term is twice the product of the two terms of the binomial.

( 3 x ) 2 + 2 ( 3 x · 4 ) + 4 2 9 x 2 + 24 x + 16

The trinomial 9 x 2 + 24 +16 is called a perfect square trinomial. It is the square of the binomial 3 x +4.

We’ll repeat the Binomial Squares Pattern here to use as a reference in factoring.

Binomial squares pattern

If a and b are real numbers,

( a + b ) 2 = a 2 + 2 a b + b 2 ( a b ) 2 = a 2 2 a b + b 2

When you square a binomial, the product is a perfect square trinomial. In this chapter, you are learning to factor—now, you will start with a perfect square trinomial and factor it into its prime factors.

You could factor this trinomial using the methods described in the last section, since it is of the form ax 2 + bx + c . But if you recognize that the first and last terms are squares and the trinomial fits the perfect square trinomials pattern    , you will save yourself a lot of work.

Here is the pattern—the reverse of the binomial squares pattern.

Perfect square trinomials pattern

If a and b are real numbers,

a 2 + 2 a b + b 2 = ( a + b ) 2 a 2 2 a b + b 2 = ( a b ) 2

To make use of this pattern, you have to recognize that a given trinomial fits it. Check first to see if the leading coefficient is a perfect square, a 2 . Next check that the last term is a perfect square, b 2 . Then check the middle term—is it twice the product, 2 ab ? If everything checks, you can easily write the factors.

How to factor perfect square trinomials

Factor: 9 x 2 + 12 x + 4 .

Solution

This table gives the steps for factoring 9 x squared +12 x +4. The first step is recognizing the perfect square pattern “a” squared + 2 a b + b squared. This includes, is the first term a perfect square and is the last term a perfect square. The first term can be written as (3 x) squared and the last term can be written as 2 squared. Also, in the first step, the middle term has to be twice “a” times b. This is verified by 2 times 3 x times 2 being 12 x. The second step is writing the square of the binomial. The polynomial is written as (3 x) squared + 2 times 3 x times 2 + 2 squared. This is factored as (3 x + 2) squared. The last step is to check with multiplication.
Got questions? Get instant answers now!
Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Factor: 4 x 2 + 12 x + 9 .

( 2 x + 3 ) 2

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Factor: 9 y 2 + 24 y + 16 .

( 3 y + 4 ) 2

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

The sign of the middle term determines which pattern we will use. When the middle term is negative, we use the pattern a 2 2 a b + b 2 , which factors to ( a b ) 2 .

The steps are summarized here.

Factor perfect square trinomials.

Step 1. Does the trinomial fit the pattern? a 2 + 2 a b + b 2 a 2 2 a b + b 2 Is the first term a perfect square? ( a ) 2 ( a ) 2 Write it as a square. Is the last term a perfect square? ( a ) 2 ( b ) 2 ( a ) 2 ( b ) 2 Write it as a square. Check the middle term. Is it 2 a b ? ( a ) 2 2 · a · b ( b ) 2 ( a ) 2 2 · a · b ( b ) 2 Step 2. Write the square of the binomial. ( a + b ) 2 ( a b ) 2 Step 3. Check by multiplying.

Questions & Answers

a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains ten rupees Express algebraically the result of his transactions
vinaya Reply
a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains 10 rupees Express algebraically the result of his three transactions
vinaya
a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains 10 rupees Express algebraically the result of his three transactions
vinaya
a trader gains 20 rupees loses 42 rupees and then gains 10 rupees Express algebraically the result of his three transactions
vinaya
Kim is making eight gallons of punch from fruit juice and soda. The fruit juice costs $6.04 per gallon and the soda costs $4.28 per gallon. How much fruit juice and how much soda should she use so that the punch costs $5.71 per gallon?
Mohamed Reply
(a+b)(p+q+r)(b+c)(p+q+r)(c+a) (p+q+r)
muhammad Reply
4x-7y=8 2x-7y=1 what is the answer?
Ramil Reply
x=7/2 & y=6/7
Pbp
x=7/2 & y=6/7 use Elimination
Debra
true
bismark
factoriz e
usman
4x-7y=8 X=7/4y+2 and 2x-7y=1 x=7/2y+1/2
Peggie
Ok cool answer peggie
Frank
thanks
Ramil
copy and complete the table. x. 5. 8. 12. then 9x-5. to the 2nd power+4. then 2xto the second power +3x
Sandra Reply
What is c+4=8
Penny Reply
2
Letha
4
Lolita
4
Rich
4
thinking
C+4=8 -4 -4 C =4
thinking
I need to study
Letha
4+4=8
William
During two years in college, a student earned $9,500. The second year, she earned $500 more than twice the amount she earned the first year.
Nicole Reply
9500=500+2x
Debra
9500-500=9000 9000÷2×=4500 X=4500
Debra
X + Y = 9500....... & Y = 500 + 2X so.... X + 500 + 2X = 9500, them X = 3000 & Y = 6500
Pbp
Bruce drives his car for his job. The equation R=0.575m+42 models the relation between the amount in dollars, R, that he is reimbursed and the number of miles, m, he drives in one day. Find the amount Bruce is reimbursed on a day when he drives 220 miles.
Josh Reply
Reiko needs to mail her Christmas cards and packages and wants to keep her mailing costs to no more than $500. The number of cards is at least 4 more than twice the number of packages. The cost of mailing a card (with pictures enclosed) is $3 and for a package the cost is $7.
Ida Reply
hey
Juan
Sup
patrick
The sum of two numbers is 155. The difference is 23. Find the numbers
Michelle Reply
The sum of two numbers is 155. Their difference is 23. Find the numbers
Michelle
The difference between 89 and 66 is 23
Ciid
Joy is preparing 20 liters of a 25% saline solution. She only has 40% and 10% solution in her lab. How many liters of the 40% and how many liters of the 10% should she mix to make the 25% solution?
Amber Reply
hello
bismark
I need a math tutor BAD
Stacie
Me too
Letha
me too
Xavier
ok
Bishal
teet
Bishal
Sue and Deb work together writing a book that takes them 90 days. If Sue worked alone, it would take her 120 days. How long would it take Deb to write the book alone?
Hailey Reply
Tell Deb to write the book alone and report back on how long it took her. Deb could get bored and stop, she could get sick next week and prolong the time, she could die next month. This question is impossible to answer.
vV
right*
tyler
is there a thumbs up mathematical symbol in algebra? 👍²= vV 90days x 120days =10800 120days - 90days = 30 10800days/30days= 360days? (ad) derall=1440 mins (90x ad )+(120 x ad )/(120 x ad ))-((90d x ad)= you go glen coco! I'll see my self out
Nick
Larry and Tom were standing next to each other in the backyard when Tom challenged Larry to guess how tall he was. Larry knew his own height is 6.5 feet and when they measured their shadows, Larry’s shadow was 8 feet and Tom’s was 7.75 feet long. What is Tom’s height?
genevieve Reply
6.25
Ciid
6.25
Big
?
Twila
Wayne is hanging a string of lights 57 feet long around the three sides of his patio, which is adjacent to his house. the length of his patio, the side along the house, is 5 feet longer than twice it's width. Find the length and width of the patio.
Katherine Reply
complexed. could you please help me figure out?
Ciid
(sin=opp/adj) (tan= opp/adj) cos=hyp/adj
tyler
(sin=opp/adj) (tan= opp/adj) cos=hyp/adj dont quote me on it look it up
tyler
(sin=opp/adj) (tan= opp/adj) cos=hyp/adj dont quote me on it look it up
tyler
(sin=opp/adj) (tan= opp/adj) cos=hyp/adj dont quote me on it look it up
tyler
SOH = Sine is Opposite over Hypotenuse. CAH= Cosine is Adjacent over Hypotenuse. TOA = Tangent is Opposite over Adjacent.
tyler
H=57 and O=285 figure out what the adjacent?
tyler
help
Twila
draw a diagram first
John
Amara currently sells televisions for company A at a salary of $17,000 plus a $100 commission for each television she sells. Company B offers her a position with a salary of $29,000 plus a $20 commission for each television she sells. How many televisions would Amara need to sell for the options to be equal?
Marisol Reply
what is the quantity and price of the televisions for both options?
karl
Amara has to sell 120 televisions to make 29,000 of the salary of company B. 120 * TV 100= commission 12,000+ 17,000 = of company a salary 29,000 17000+
Ciid
Amara has to sell 120 televisions to make 29,000 of the salary of company B. 120 * TV 100= commission 12,000+ 17,000 = of company a salary 29,000
Ciid
Practice Key Terms 3

Get the best Elementary algebra course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Elementary algebra' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask