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- anonymous

a^2 – a – 20 can you help me solve this idk why I keep getting messed up on this

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- anonymous

a^2 – a – 20 can you help me solve this idk why I keep getting messed up on this

- chestercat

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- mathstudent55

Set up two sets of parentheses:
( )( )
Place a on the left of each parentheses:
(a )(a )
Your middle term is -a which means -1a, and your last term is -20
Now look for two numbers that multiply to -20 and add to -1
What are they? That's what goes inside the parenteses on the right sides.

- anonymous

-5, and -4

- anonymous

K so we have to factor a^2-a-20. We need to find two factors that when multiplied will equal -1 and when added equal -20. If we go through the factors of -20, we find that the two numbers that do this are -5 & 4. -5*4=-20 & -5+4=-1 so it fits what we're looking for.
Now we put this in the two sets of parenthesis we have-
(a )(a )
and it becomes (a+4)(a-5)

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- anonymous

wait y is one negative and one positive

- anonymous

Because we are looking for 2 numbers that multiply to get -20. A positive*positive=positive
negative*negative=positive
positive*negative=negative. So that means one of the numbers will be negative & the other positive. Also these 2 numbers have to add up to -1. The only two numbers that will meet this are -5 & 4. -5*4=-20 and -5+4=-1.

- mathstudent55

It's -5 and 4 because -5 x 4 = -20 and -5 + 4 = -1
So now those numbers go in the parentheses.
(a - 5)(a + 4)
And you're done.

- anonymous

o ok thank you

- anonymous

no prob. :)

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