How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

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This article was co-authored by David Jia. David Jia is an academic teacher and founder of LA Math Tutoring, a private tutoring company based in Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of teaching experience, David works with students of all ages and grades in a variety of subjects as well as college admissions counseling and test preparation for the SAT, ACT, ISEE and more. After achieving a perfect 800 math score and a 690 English score on the SAT, David received a Dickinson Scholarship from the University of Miami, where he graduated with a degree in business administration. Additionally, David has worked as an instructor for online videos for textbook companies such as Larson Texts, Big Ideas Learning, and Big Ideas Math.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

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Adding And Subtracting Fractions

Adding and subtracting fractions is an essential skill. Fractions come up all the time in everyday life, especially in math classes, from elementary school to college. Just follow these steps to learn how to add and subtract them, whether they are like fractions, unlike fractions, mixed or improper fractions. Once you know one way, the rest is pretty easy!

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

This article was co-authored by David Jia. David Jia is an academic teacher and founder of LA Math Tutoring, a private tutoring company based in Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of teaching experience, David works with students of all ages and grades in a variety of subjects as well as college admissions counseling and test preparation for the SAT, ACT, ISEE and more. After achieving a perfect 800 math score and a 690 English score on the SAT, David received a Dickinson Scholarship from the University of Miami, where he graduated with a degree in business administration. Additionally, David has worked as an instructor for online videos for textbook companies such as Larson Texts, Big Ideas Learning, and Big Ideas Math. This article was viewed 123,898 times.

To add and subtract fractions with the same denominator or lower number, place 2 fractions side by side. Add or subtract the numerator or upper numbers and write the result in a new fraction at the top. The number below the answer will be the same as the denominator of the original fractions. To learn how to add and subtract fractions with different denominators, keep reading! How to Subtract Fractions in 3 Easy Steps

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

How To Add And Subtract Fractions

Knowing how to subtract fractions is a critical and fundamental math skill that every student should learn because it serves as a foundation for understanding more advanced math ideas that you may encounter in the future.

Fortunately, subtracting fractions can be done using a simple and straightforward three-step process, regardless of whether the denominators are the same (like) or different (opposite).

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

This free step-by-step guide to subtracting fractions walks you through the process of subtracting fractions with like and opposite denominators, including detailed examples for each scenario.

Add And Subtract With Unlike Denominators 1 Worksheet

Before we cover how to subtract fractions and work through some examples, let’s quickly review some key features and vocabulary related to subtracting fractions.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Before you can learn how to subtract fractions, it’s important to know two key vocabulary words (and the difference between them):

Definition: The top number of a fraction is called the denominator. For example, the denominator of the fraction 5/6 is 5.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Adding Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Definition: The number below a fraction is called the denominator. For example, the denominator of the fraction 5/6 is 6.

Again, the numerator is the top number of the fraction and the denominator is the bottom number. These terms are further illustrated in Figure 01 below. Although these two math vocabulary are easy, it is important that you are able to understand and correctly identify the numerator and denominator of fractions in order to master the skill of subtracting fractions.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Figure 01: Fraction Subtraction Key Terms: The numerator of a fraction is the top number and the denominator is the bottom number.

Add & Subtract Fractions Cut & Paste Activity {free}

Moving on, you’re ready to take the next step in mastering fraction subtraction. Next, you will need to be able to determine when a fraction subtraction problem falls into one of the following two categories:

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Figure 02: How do you subtract fractions? The first step is to be able to identify whether the fractions concerned have the same denominator or different denominators.

This concept may seem straightforward, but it’s important to refresh your understanding because you must be able to identify whether a fraction subtraction problem likes or dislikes the denominator in order to find the correct solution.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Add And Subtract Fractions Visual Models Included Digital

Now that you have important foundational skills, you’re ready to go through some fraction subtraction problems.

The first example of subtracting a fraction is very simple and easy, so it’s a good place to start using our simple 3-step process for subtracting fractions. If you can learn to apply these three steps to simple examples, you’ll be able to use the same process to solve more complex problems in the future (since the process works for any fraction subtraction problem).

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Step Two: If the example involves even denominators, proceed to Step Three. If they have opposite denominators, find a common denominator.

Math Anchor Charts

Now, before moving on to examples of how to subtract fractions with different denominators, let’s go through one more example of subtracting fractions with the same denominator.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

For the next example, you’ll use the same 3-step method you used in Example #1 as follows:

In this case, 3/9 is the correct answer, but this fraction can be simplified. Since both 3 and 9 are divisible by 3, 3/9 can be simplified to 1/3.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Classic Mistakes: Adding Fractions

In this example, the fractions have different denominators (they are different). The denominator of the first fraction is 2 and the second is 7.

Before you proceed to step three, you need to find a number that divides both denominators equally. This is called the common denominator.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

A very simple and efficient way to find the common denominator between two fractions is by multiplying the denominators together (i.e. multiplying the denominator of the first fraction by the second fraction and the denominator of the second fraction by the first fraction).

Parent Homework Help: Adding And Subtracting Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Figure 05: How to subtract fractions with different denominators: Find the common denominator by multiplying the denominators together.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Now that step two is complete, you can see that the original question has been transformed and you are now working with equivalent fractions with the same denominator, which means that the heavy lifting is done and you can now solve the problem by subtracting the numerator. can solve and keep the same denominator:

As in the last example, you will need to find the common denominator because fractions have the opposite of denominators. You can find the common denominator by multiplying the denominators together like this:

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Fractions In Maths

Subtracting fractions with the same denominator only finds the difference of the numerator (top value) and does not change the denominator (bottom value).

To subtract fractions with opposite denominators you need to find a common denominator, which is a value that divides both denominators equally.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

How do you subtract fractions? You can solve any fraction subtraction problem using the following three-step method:

Adding And Subtracting Fractions (w/ 21+ Examples!)

Search Tags: how to subtract fractions, how to subtract fractions, how to subtract fractions with different denominators, subtracting fractions, subtracting fractions with opposite denominators, how do you subtract fractions? Here you will find a wide variety of 5th class fraction worksheets that will help you. The child learns to add and subtract fractions with opposite denominators.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

If you’re looking for help, we also have videos on how to add and subtract fractions and links to our support pages for adding and subtracting fractions.

There are many different examples, including adding and subtracting fractions with both like and opposite denominators, as well as examples where one denominator is a multiple of the other.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Printable Board Games For Adding & Subtracting Fractions

If you want to use our free fraction calculator to do the work for you, use the link below.

Our fraction calculator will allow you to add or subtract fractions and show you the steps to do it.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Here you will find a selection of fractions worksheets designed to help your child understand how to add and subtract 2 fractions.

How To Subtract Fractions In 3 Easy Steps — Mashup Math

The sheets are divided into sections so that you can easily choose the right one according to your needs.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Before your child can tackle adding and subtracting fractions with opposite denominators, they need to be confident with equivalent fractions.

At the end of the quiz, you will have the opportunity to view your results by clicking on ‘View Score’.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Illustrating Addition And Subtraction Of Proper Fractions

This will take you to a new web page where your results will be displayed. You can print a copy of your results as PDF or hard copy from this page.

For incorrect answers, we have added some helpful learning points to explain which answer was correct and why.

How To Add And Subtract Fractions With Unlike Denominators

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Adding And Subtracting Fractions With Unlike Denominators In 3 Steps — Mashup Math

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