# How to add and subtract fractions Math Antics - Common Denominator ECD

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Add and subtract proper and improper fractions with this calculator and see the work involved in the solution. Select the number of fractions in your equation and then input numerators and denominators in the available fields. Click the Calculate button to solve the equation and show the work. When fractions have the same denominators we simply add or subtract the numerators as indicated and place the result over the common denominator. If necessary we can simplify the fraction to lowest terms or a mixed number. When fractions have unlike denominators the first step is to find equivalent fractions so that all of the denominators are the same. When all denominators are alike, simply add or subtract the numerators and place the result over the common denominator.

To add fractions, you have to have "common" shared denominators. As the proverb says, you can only add apples to apples, not apples to oranges.
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Search Updated December 27th, This lesson will inform you how to add and subtract fractions. To understand the sections below, it is necessary to know how to reduce fractions. It is strongly recommended that you first review how to reduce fractions before proceeding. Reducing Fractions requires dividing the numerator and the denominator of a fraction by a common factor.

Section 2 Subtracting mixed numbers. Now, to add or subtract anything, the names -- the units -- must be the same. We cannot add 2 apples plus 3 oranges -- at least not until we call them "pieces of fruit. The denominator of a fraction has but one function, which is to name what we are counting. In this example, we are counting eighths. To add or subtract fractions, the denominators must be the same. Before continuing, then, the student should know how to convert one fraction to an equivalent one, by multiplying the numerator and the denominator.

## How to add and subtract fractions

We are going to look at an example. The denominators are 10 and 3, which are different and do not have common factors, so we will have to multiply them. We are going to see an example in order to clarify. The denominators of these fractions are different, but since 4 is a factor of 20, we can multiply the 4 by a number that gives us 20, which is 5. We are going to continue with an example. Therefore we are going to factor the numbers in order to determine the least common multiple, as shown in the image.

To add or subtract fractions with different denominators, we need to do some extra steps. The general approach is discussed below. We will go over a few examples in this lesson to make sure you get comfortable with the procedure. Step 3: Rewrite each fraction into its equivalent fraction with a denominator which is equal to the Least Common Multiple that you found in step 2. Always reduce the answer to its lowest terms. The two fractions have denominators that are not equal. Do that by multiplying its numerator and denominator by the number 3.

Show less Adding and subtracting fractions is an essential skill to have. Fractions show up in daily life all the time, especially in math classes, from elementary school through college. Just follow these steps to learn how to add and subtract them, whether they're like fractions, unlike fractions, mixed, or improper fractions. Once you know one way, the rest is pretty easy! To add and subtract fractions with the same denominator, or bottom number, place the 2 fractions side by side.

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