You are on page 1of 12

# Partial Fractions

of Algebraic Fractions
Given two or more

## fractions, we may add or

subtract them to form one single fraction.
For example:
1
1

x 1 x 1
( x 1) ( x 1)

( x 1)( x 1)
How
2
2
the reverse
x 1
process?

Partial Fractions
In the

## reverse process, we try to express a

fraction as a sum of more than one fractions.
5
For example: Given
x2 x 6
1
1
we can try to express it as

x2 x3
These are called

## partial fractions of the original fraction.

Before we proceed
If the degree of the
numerator of the given
fraction is equal to or greater
than that of the denominator,
divide the numerator by the
denominator until a
remainder is obtained, which
is of lower degree than the
denominator.
For example:

x -1

x3
x2 x 2

x2 x 2 x3

x3 + x2 2x
- x2 + 2x
-x2 x + 2
3x - 2
x3
x2 x 2
( x 2 x 2)( x 1) (3 x 2)

x2 x 2
3x 2
( x 1) 2
x x2

Type I:
Denominator with only linear factors

## fraction is in the form

For example:

A
(ax b)

where A is a constant.

11x 12
(2 x 3)( x 2)( x 3)
A
B
C

2x 3 x 2 x 3

Now, the
problem is to
find the
constants A, B
and C.

11x 12
A
B
C

(2 x 3)( x 2)( x 3) 2 x 3 x 2 x 3

11x 12
A( x 2)( x 3) B(2 x 3)( x 3) C (2 x 3)( x 2)

(2 x 3)( x 2)( x 3)
(2 x 3)( x 2)( x 3)
11x + 12 A(x + 2)(x 3) + B(2x + 3)(x 3) + C(2x + 3)(x + 2)
Put x = 3,
Put x = - 2,

## 11(3) + 12 = C(6 + 3)(3 + 2)

Or,
C=1
11(-2) + 12 = B[2(-2) + 3](-2 -3)
Or,
B = -2

## Put x = -3/2, 11(-3/2) + 12 = A(- 3/2 + 2)(- 3/2 3)

Or,
A=2
11x 12
2
2
1

( 2 x 3)( x 2)( x 3) 2 x 3 x 2 x 3

Type II:

## To every quadratic factor, ax2 + bx + c, there corresponds

a partial fraction in the form
Ax B

ax bx c
2

Note that fractions which can be split into partial fractions are necessarily
proper, and thus, the resulting partial fractions themselves are always proper
Example:

3x 1
A
Bx C

2
2
( x 1)( x 1) ( x 1) ( x 1)

3x 1
A
Bx C

2
2
( x 1)( x 1) ( x 1) ( x 1)

3x 1
A( x 2 1) ( Bx C )( x 1)

2
( x 1)( x 1)
( x 1)( x 2 1)

Put x = 1,

3 + 1 = A(1 + 1)
Or, A = 2

Put x = 0,

1 = A + C(-1)
Or, C = 1

## Equating the coefficient of x2:

Or, B = -2

0=A+B

3x 1
2
1 2x

2
2
( x 1)( x 1) x 1 x 1

Type III:
Denominator with a repeated factor

## To every repeated factor like (ax + b)2 in the

denominator, there corresponds partial fractions in the
form A
B
ax b

and

(ax b) 2

## Similarly, for factor like (ax + b)3 in the denominator,

there corresponds partial fractions in the form
A
B
C
,
and
2
ax b (ax b)
(ax b) 3
Example:
1
A
B
C

( x 2)( x 1)

x2

x 1 ( x 1) 2

1
( x 2)( x 1) 2
1

( x 2)( x 2 2 x 1)

A
Bx K

2
x 2 x 2x 1

x2
A

x2
A

x2

B ( x 1) B K
( x 1) 2
B ( x 1) B K

2
( x 1)
( x 1) 2
B
C

x 1 ( x 1) 2

Type II

1
A
B
C

2
( x 2)( x 1)
x 2 x 1 ( x 1) 2

1
A( x 1) 2 B ( x 1)( x 2) C ( x 2)

2
( x 2)( x 1)
( x 2)( x 1) 2

## 1 A(x 1)2 + B(x 1)(x+ 2) + C(x + 2)

Put x = - 2, 1 = A(- 2 1)2
Or, A = 1/9
Put x = 1,

1 = C(1 + 2)
Or, C = 1/3

## Equating the coefficients of x2: 0 = A + B

Or, B = -1/9

1
1
1
1
Thus,

2
( x 2)( x 1)
9( x 2) 9( x 1) 3( x 1) 2