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Reciprocal In Algebra

Turn it upside down!

Reciprocal of a Number

To get the reciprocal of a number, just divide 1 by the number.

Examples:

Number Reciprocal As a Decimal
2 1/2 = 0.5
8 1/8 = 0.125
1,000 1/1,000 = 0.001

Reciprocal of a Variable

If you are given a variable "x", its reciprocal is "1/x".

Likewise, if you are given something more complicated like "x/y" then the reciprocal is just "y/x" (ie, turn it upside down).

Example: What is the Reciprocal of x/(x-1) ?

Answer: take x/(x-1) and flip it upside down: (x-1)/x

Notation

The reciprocal of "x" is shown as:

1/x, or

x-1 (see exponents)