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# Simplify

Simplify: to make simpler!

One of the big jobs we do in Algebra is "simplification". You will often get asked to express something "in simplest form".

## What is the Simplest Form?

In general, it is simpler if it is easier to use.

### Example

 This: 5x + x - 3 can become this: 6x - 3 (by combining like terms)

Which is easier to use.

And:

This:
 2x2 - 6x + 2 x - 3

can become this:
 2x + 2 x - 3
(by polynomial long division)

And:

 This: x2 - 2x - 3 can become this: (x-3)(x+1) (by factoring)

That last example might be controversial ... some people say that you should remove parentheses to make it "simpler", but (x-3)(x+1) is usually a lot easier to use.

The moral of the story:

"Simplified" is sometimes obvious, but can also depend on what you want to do!

## How to Simplify

Simplifying uses much the same skills as solving equations, that page has some good advice.

But here is a small list of tips:

## And Which Is Simpler Here?

Here is one more interesting case:

 This: seems simple enough But this: has a rationalized denominator (normally considered simpler)

Which is simpler? You decide!