In the classic treatment of the line-driven, fluid-loaded, thin elastic plate, a branch cut integral typically needs to be evaluated. This branch cut arises due to a square root operator in the spectral form of the acoustic impedance. In a previous paper [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 110, 3018 (2001)], DiPerna and Feit developed a methodology, complex layer analysis (CLA), to approximate this impedance. The resulting approximation was in the form of a rational function, although this was not explicitly stated. In this paper, a rational function approximation (RFA) to the acoustic impedance is derived. The advantage of the RFA as compared to the CLA approach is that a smaller number of terms are required. The accuracy of the RFA is examined both in the Fourier transform domain and the spatial domain. The RFA is then used to obtain a differential relationship between the pressure and velocity on the surface of the plate. Finally, using the RFA in conjunction with the equation of motion of the plate, an approximate expression for the Green’s function for a line-driven plate is obtained in terms of a sum of propagating and evanescent waves. Comparisons of these results with the numerical inversion of the exact integral show reasonable agreement. © 2003 Acoustical Society of America.