Understanding Fractions.

Most children consider learning fractions to be a very complicated exercise. The main difference between a fraction and other numbers is that it has a numerator and a denominator. There are problems involving fractions which require several steps to be taken before you get to the solution. Most if not all of the fractions problems also require a student to combine various maths operations in order to solve them.

There are four main math operations and that is subtraction, addition, division and multiplication. In order for one not to struggle in maths, they must first gain proficiency in the four areas mentioned above. Mastery of fractions comes from practicing them regularly. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the four basic math operations could be used to solve fractions.

Addition of fractions with the same denominator

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When adding the fractions above, you only add the numerators. The denominator of 9 remains the same.

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Adding fractions (different denominator and reduced to simplest form)

The first step is to make the two denominators equal before carrying out addition. the denominators in the fractions presented above are 12 and 8. First, you must figure out the lowest number in which both 8 and 12 can be evenly multiplied into. 24 is the lowest number that can be multiplied to the denominators. Each fraction is further converted so as to have 24 as its denominator. The numerator and denominator of the two fractions are multiplied by 2 and 3 respectively so as to get 12/24 and 6/24 respectively. The other step is to add them up so as to get 18/24. In order to get the answer 18/24, they two fractions are added together.

How to multiply fractions;7/8 x 3/4 = 21/32

It involves the numerator and denominator multiplication.

Multiplying fractions (reduced to simplest form – cross canceling)

To reduce a fraction, it is the numerator and the denominator that are cross cancelled. Upon reduction of the fractions, the bottom and top numbers are then multiplied to get the final answer.

How to divide simple fraction problems;5/9 / 7/11 = 5/9 x 11/7 = 55/63

When fractions are being divided, you need to “flip” the second fraction and change the operation sign from division to multiplication. 11/7 results from 7/11. You will now multiply the fractions.

Dividing fractions when reducing them to the simplest form.

Begin by flipping the second fraction from 7/8 to 8/7. Multiply the fractions. The results obtained which is 24/63 can further be reduced. The common factor of the resulting fraction is 3, divide both of them by it.

Division of fractions reduced to their simplest forms.

As always, flip the second fraction and the change the division sign. The resulting fractions can further be reduced by cross cancelling. Both 36(top number for the first fraction) and 18 (bottom part of the second fraction) have one common factor which is 18. Cross canceling is now done for the numerator of the second fraction (15) and the denominator of the first fraction (45). You are now multiplying 2/3 and 1/1.