Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kenny, a parent:

3 over "x" plus 5. I don't know this is either a polynomial and if so how would you define it.

Hi Kenny,

I am not sure if you mean

\[\frac{3}{x} + 5\]


\[\frac{3}{x + 5}\]

but in either case this is not a polynomial.

An integer divided by a nonzero integer is called a rational number. In a similar way a polynomial divided by a polynomial is called a rational expression. Since both of the expressions above can be written as a polynomial divided by a polynomial I would call them rational expressions.


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