Trigonometry Workbook For Dummies
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The same type of factoring that algebra uses to solve equations is a great help in solving trigonometry equations. The only trick with the trig equations is to recognize that instead of just x's, y's, or other single-letter variables, trig variables such as sin x or sec y exist.

Here’s a list of the basic factoring patterns so that you know which factoring techniques to apply.

Factoring binomials:

  • Greatest common factor: ab cb= b (a c)

  • Difference of squares: a2b2 = (a + b)(ab)

  • Sum or difference of cubes: a3 + b3 = (a + b)(a2ab + b2) and a3b3 = (ab)(a2 + ab +b2)

Factoring trinomials:

  • Greatest common factor: ax2 + ax + ac = a(x2 + x + c)

  • Un-FOIL: abx2 + (ad + bc)x + cd = (ax + c)(bx + d)

Factoring by grouping:

  • abxy + adx + bcy + cd = ax (by + d) + c (by + d) = (ax + c)(by + d)

About This Article

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About the book author:

Mary Jane Sterling taught algebra, business calculus, geometry, and finite mathematics at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, for more than 30 years. She is the author of several For Dummies books, including Algebra Workbook For Dummies, Algebra II For Dummies, and Algebra II Workbook For Dummies.

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