how do i complete the square and leave in simple radical form? x squared + 18x  17=0 Hi,The key to completing the square is the fact that Notice the relationship between the constant term, a^{2}, and the coefficient of x, 2a. The constant term is the square of half the coefficient of x. So, for example, if you have x^{2} + 6x you can produce a square by adding (6/2)^{2} = 9; x^{2} + 6x + 9 = (x + 3)^{2}. For a problem like the one you sent, say You need to add (12/2)^{2} = 36, but then you also have to subtract 36 to maintain the equality. Thus you get x^{2} + 12 x + 36 + 8  36 = 0 (x + 6)^{2}  28 = 0 When completing the square you need to ensure that the coefficient of x^{2} is one. Sometimes you may need to force it to be one. For example if you want to complete the square with you need to write it as and then add ((1/2)(12/5))^{2} = (6/5)^{2} to get
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