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Factoring a GCF from an Expression

The next expression we will be factoring is shown below.

36x2 - 64y4

To begin factoring the GCF out of the expression, find the GCF of the two terms.

36 (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36)
64 (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64)

GCF = 4

As you can see, the two terms to do not have any variables in common, therefore the GCF is simply 4.

Now write 4, the GCF, on the left of a set of parentheses.

4(               )

Now divide each term 4, the GCF, and place the result inside the parentheses.

36x2 / 4 = 9x2
-64y4 / 4 = -16y4

4(9x2 - 16y4)

The next page links to various resources and calculators for this lesson.


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