Simplify. Is the simplified expression equivalent to the original?
This expression factors as .
We can cancel one factor of (x + 1) from the numerator and denominator to find .
In this case, the original expression and its simplified version are equivalent. Neither expression can be evaluated at x = -1, and for every other value of x the two expressions will evaluate to the same number. These two might have been separated at birth. That mole on their left buttocks is a dead giveaway.