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The distributive law says that *x*(*y*+*z*) = *xy *+ *xz* for all numbers
*x*, *y*, and *z*, and the factorization
is simply an application of this to the particular case *x*=2, ,
and *z *= -*ab*.

Writing is legitimate since multiplying any number by 1 leaves the number unchanged.

Why don't you go back to the list of steps in the proof and see if you can identify which one is wrong, now that you know it isn't this one?

This page last updated: May 26, 1998

Original Web Site Creator / Mathematical Content Developer: Philip Spencer

Current Network Coordinator and Contact Person: Joel Chan - mathnet@math.toronto.edu