I'm happy to help with this one.
Is (1/x) > y/(y^2+3)
(1) y > 0
(2) x = y
Statement #1: y > 0
That tells us no information about x, so it's not sufficient by itself.
Statement #2: x = y
Let's say x = y = 1. Then the left is 1, the right side is 1/(1^2 + 3) = 1/4, and the left side is bigger.
BUT, if x = y = -1, then the left side is -1, and the right side is -1/4, and --- here's one of the really tricky things about negatives and inequalities --- the "
less negative" number -1/4 is
greater than -1, so the right side is bigger. It may be less confusing to think about that in terms of whole numbers ---- for example, 10 > 5, but -5 > -10: it's better to have $10 in your pocket rather than $5 in your pocket, but it's better to be $5 in debt than $10 in debt. Does that make sense?
You are perfectly right --- y^2 is positive whether y is positive or negative, and therefore the denominator (y^2 + 3) is the same whether y is positive or negative, but what's different are whether the
fractions themselves are negative, and that's what can reverse the order of the inequality.
Without knowing whether x & y are positive and negative, we cannot determine the direction of the inequality. Statement #2 by itself is not sufficient
Combined: y > 0 AND x = y
Now, we are guaranteed that the fractions are both positive, so multiplying by x or y will not reverse the order of the inequality. Because x = y, we have (1/y) > y/(y^2+3). Cross-multiplying, we get y^2 + 3 > y^2, which is always true. Together, the statements are sufficient. Answer choice = C.
Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Mike
_________________
Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test PrepEducation is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)