# Factoring - Grouping

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1 6.2 Factoring - Grouping Objective: Factor polynomials with four terms using grouping. The first thing we will always do when factoring is try to factor out a GCF. This GCF is often a monomial like in the problem 5xy + 10xz the GCF is the monomial 5x, so we would have 5x(y + 2z). However, a GCF does not have to be a monomial, it could be a binomial. To see this, consider the following two example. Example 1. 3ax 7bx x(3a 7b) Both havexin common, factor it out Our Solution Now the same problem, but instead of x we have (2a+5b). Example 2. 3a(2a+5b) 7b(2a + 5b) Both have (2a +5b) in common, factor it out (2a +5b)(3a 7b) Our Solution In the same way we factored out a GCF of x we can factor out a GCF which is a binomial, (2a + 5b). This process can be extended to factor problems where there is no GCF to factor out, or after the GCF is factored out, there is more factoring that can be done. Here we will have to use another strategy to factor. We will use a process known as grouping. Grouping is how we will factor if there are four terms in the problem. Remember, factoring is like multiplying in reverse, so first we will look at a multiplication problem and then try to reverse the process. Example 3. (2a + 3)(5b +2) Distribute (2a +3) into second parenthesis 5b(2a +3)+2(2a +3) Distribute each monomial 10ab + 15b+ 4a +6 Our Solution The solution has four terms in it. We arrived at the solution by looking at the two parts, 5b(2a + 3) and 2(2a + 3). When we are factoring by grouping we will always divide the problem into two parts, the first two terms and the last two terms. Then we can factor the GCF out of both the left and right sides. When we do this our hope is what is left in the parenthesis will match on both the left and right. If they match we can pull this matching GCF out front, putting the rest in parenthesis and we will be factored. The next example is the same problem worked backwards, factoring instead of multiplying. 1

2 Example 4. 10ab + 15b + 4a+6 Split problem into two groups 10ab + 15b + 4a+6 GCF on left is 5b, on the right is 2 5b(2a+3) + 2(2a+3) (2a + 3) is the same! Factor out this GCF (2a +3)(5b + 2) Our Solution The key for grouping to work is after the GCF is factored out of the left and right, the two binomials must match exactly. If there is any difference between the two we either have to do some adjusting or it can t be factored using the grouping method. Consider the following example. Example 5. 6x 2 +9xy 14x 21y Split problem into two groups 6x 2 + 9xy 14x 21y GCF on left is 3x, on right is 7 3x(2x +3y) +7( 2x 3y) The signs in the parenthesis don t match! when the signs don t match on both terms we can easily make them match by factoring the opposite of the GCF on the right side. Instead of 7 we will use 7. This will change the signs inside the second parenthesis. 3x(2x + 3y) 7(2x + 3y) (2x + 3y)(3x 7) Our Solution (2x + 3y) is the same! Factor out this GCF Often we can recognize early that we need to use the opposite of the GCF when factoring. If the first term of the first binomial is positive in the problem, we will also want the first term of the second binomial to be positive. If it is negative then we will use the opposite of the GCF to be sure they match. Example 6. 5xy 8x 10y + 16 Split the problem into two groups 5xy 8x 10y + 16 GCF on left isx, on right we need a negative, so we use 2 x(5y 8) 2(5y 8) (5y 8) is the same! Factor out this GCF (5y 8)(x 2) Our Solution 2

3 Sometimes when factoring the GCF out of the left or right side there is no GCF to factor out. In this case we will use either the GCF of 1 or 1. Often this is all we need to be sure the two binomials match. Example 7. 12ab 14a 6b +7 Split the problem into two groups 12ab 14a 6b +7 GCF on left is 2a, on right, no GCF, use 1 2a(6b 7) 1(6b 7) (6b 7) is the same! Factor out this GCF (6b 7)(2a 1) Our Solution Example 8. 6x 3 15x 2 +2x 5 Split problem into two groups 6x 3 15x 2 + 2x 5 GCF on left is 3x 2, on right, no GCF, use 1 3x 2 (2x 5) + 1(2x 5) (2x 5) is the same! Factor out this GCF (2x 5)(3x 2 +1) Our Solution Another problem that may come up with grouping is after factoring out the GCF on the left and right, the binomials don t match, more than just the signs are different. In this case we may have to adjust the problem slightly. One way to do this is to change the order of the terms and try again. To do this we will move the second term to the end of the problem and see if that helps us use grouping. Example 9. 4a 2 21b 3 +6ab 14ab 2 Split the problem into two groups 4a 2 21b 3 +6ab 14ab 2 GCF on left is 1, on right is 2ab 1(4a 2 21b 3 ) + 2ab(3 7b) Binomials don t match! Move second term to end 4a 2 + 6ab 14ab 2 21b 3 Start over, split the problem into two groups 4a 2 + 6ab 14ab 2 21b 3 GCF on left is 2a, on right is 7b 2 2a(2a +3b) 7b 2 (2a +3b) (2a +3b) is the same! Factor out this GCF (2a + 3b)(2a 7b 2 ) Our Solution When rearranging terms the problem can still be out of order. Sometimes after factoring out the GCF the terms are backwards. There are two ways that this can happen, one with addition, one with subtraction. If it happens with addition, for example the binomials are (a + b) and (b + a), we don t have to do any extra work. This is because addition is the same in either order (5 +3=3+5=8). 3

4 Example y 3xy 21x Split the problem into two groups 7+ y 3xy 21x GCF on left is 1, on the right is 3x 1(7+ y) 3x(y + 7) y + 7 and 7+ y are the same, use either one (y + 7)(1 3x) Our Solution However, if the binomial has subtraction, then we need to be a bit more careful. For example, if the binomials are (a b) and (b a), we will factor out the opposite of the GCF on one part, usually the second. Notice what happens when we factor out 1. Example 11. (b a) Factor out 1 1( b+a) Addition can be in either order, switch order 1(a b) The order of the subtraction has been switched! Generally we won t show all the above steps, we will simply factor out the opposite of the GCF and switch the order of the subtraction to make it match the other binomial. Example 12. 8xy 12y x Split the problem into two groups 8xy 12y 15 10x GCF on left is 4y, on right, 5 4y(2x 3) +5(3 2x) Need to switch subtraction order, use 5 in middle 4y(2y 3) 5(2x 3) Now 2x 3 match on both! Factor out this GCF (2x 3)(4y 5) Our Solution World View Note: Sofia Kovalevskaya of Russia was the first woman on the editorial staff of a mathematical journal in the late 19th century. She also did research on how the rings of Saturn rotated. Beginning and Intermediate Algebra by Tyler Wallace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. ( 4

5 6.2 Practice - Grouping Factor each completely. 1) 40r 3 8r 2 25r +5 3) 3n 3 2n 2 9n +6 5) 15b b 2 35b 49 7) 3x x 2 +2x ) 35x 3 28x 2 20x ) 7xy 49x + 5y 35 13) 32xy + 40x y + 15x 15) 16xy 56x + 2y 7 17) 2xy 8x 2 +7y 3 28y 2 x 19) 40xy + 35x 8y 2 7y 21) 32uv 20u + 24v 15 23) 10xy x + 12y 25) 3uv + 14u 6u 2 7v 2) 35x 3 10x 2 56x ) 14v v 2 7v 5 6) 6x 3 48x 2 + 5x 40 8) 28p p p+15 10) 7n n 2 5n 15 12) 42r 3 49r r 21 14) 15ab 6a +5b 3 2b 2 16) 3mn 8m + 15n 40 18) 5mn + 2m 25n 10 20) 8xy + 56x y 7 22) 4uv + 14u v + 42u 24) 24xy + 25y 2 20x 30y 3 26) 56ab a 16b 27) 16xy 3x 6x 2 +8y Beginning and Intermediate Algebra by Tyler Wallace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. ( 5

6 6.2 1) (8r 2 5)(5r 1) 2) (5x 2 8)(7x 2) 3) (n 2 3)(3n 2) 4) (2v 2 1)(7v +5) 5) (3b 2 7)(5b + 7) 6) (6x 2 + 5)(x 8) 7) (3x 2 + 2)(x +5) 8) (7p 2 +5)(4p+3) 9) (7x 2 4)(5x 4) 10)(7n 2 5)(n+3) Answers - Grouping 11) (7x + 5)(y 7) 12) (7r 2 +3)(6r 7) 13) (8x + 3)(4y + 5x) 14) (3a + b 2 )(5b 2) 15) (8x + 1)(2y 7) 16) (m + 5)(3n 8) 17) (2x + 7y 2 )(y 4x) 18) (m 5)(5n+2) 19) (5x y)(8y + 7) 20) (8x 1)(y + 7) 21) (4u + 3)(8v 5) 22) 2(u + 3)(2v +7u) 23) (5x + 6)(2y + 5) 24) (4x 5y 2 )(6y 5) 25) (3u 7)(v 2u) 26) (7a 2)(8b 7) 27) (2x + 1)(8y 3x) Beginning and Intermediate Algebra by Tyler Wallace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. ( 6

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