



 
Hi Megan, First you factor the $x^2  a^2$ to get $(x  a)(x + a)$ and then you have \[\frac{(x  a)(x + a)}{xy} \times \frac{xy}{x + a}\] At this point you can cancel the $xy$ in the denominator of the first fraction with the $xy$ in the numerator of the second fraction. Likewise you can cancel the $(x + a)$ factor that occurs in both fractions. Penny  


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