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# 8-3 Factoring Trinomials in the form x 2 + bx + c

## We began our discussion of factoring trinomials by looking back at multiplying

two binomials using the FOIL method,
€ since all trinomials of this form will factor
into two binomials.

## Consider the binomials:

Fig. 1:
(x + m)(x + n) If we multiply using the FOIL method we get the following:

Fig. 2:
x 2 + mx + nx + mn Notice the two middle terms are like terms, giving us:

Fig. 3:
€ x 2 + (m + n)x + mn Notice m & n have no effect on the first term, it is always x2

Therefore, we can conclude that any trinomial that begins with x2 could factor in
the following way:

(x + ___)(x + ___) Our job will be to figure out the blanks, or what m & n are.

Notice that the coefficient of the middle term (Fig. 3) is m plus n and the constant,
or the last term, is m times n. We can use this observation to help us factor

trinomials.

## We know this trinomial will factor like this: (x + m)(x + n)

We know that mn = 27 & m + n = 12

The two numbers that fit are 9 & 3 (9x3=27, 9+3=12)

We can fill in the rest of our binomials:

(x + 9)(x + 3)

## What if b is negative and c is positive?

When a trinomial is in the form x 2 − bx + c we can conclude :

m + n is negative
so it will factor like this: (x − m)(x − n)
mn is positive €

since the sum of two negatives is negative and their product is positive.

Example: Factor x 2 −15x + 56

## We know this trinomial will factor like this: (x − m)(x − n)

We know that mn = 56 & m + n = −15

The two numbers that fit are -7 & -8

So this trinomial factors to: (x − 8)(x − 7)

## Example: Factor x 2 −17x + 30

We know the trinomial will factor like this: (x − m)(x − n)

We know that mn = 30 & m + n = −17

The two numbers that fit are -15 & -2

So this trinomial factors to: (x −15)(x − 2)

What if c is negative?
When a trinomial is in the form: x 2 + bx − c or x 2 − bx − c the operations in the

factored binomials will be opposite.

€ (x + m)(x − n)

## If b is positive, then m is the larger number.

If b is negative, then n is the larger number.

Example: Factor x 2 + 2x −15

## We know this trinomial will factor like this: (x + m)(x − n)

Since b is positive, the larger number will be m.

We know mn = −15 & m + n = 2

## The two numbers that fit are 5 & -2

So this trinomial factors to: (x + 5)(x − 3)