September 29, 2022

How to Add Fractions: Steps and Examples

Adding fractions is a regular math problem that students study in school. It can look daunting at first, but it turns easy with a shred of practice.

This blog article will guide the process of adding two or more fractions and adding mixed fractions. We will then provide examples to demonstrate how it is done. Adding fractions is necessary for various subjects as you move ahead in science and math, so ensure to adopt these skills initially!

The Steps of Adding Fractions

Adding fractions is an ability that a lot of kids have difficulty with. However, it is a relatively hassle-free process once you understand the essential principles. There are three major steps to adding fractions: finding a common denominator, adding the numerators, and streamlining the answer. Let’s take a closer look at every one of these steps, and then we’ll look into some examples.

Step 1: Determining a Common Denominator

With these valuable tips, you’ll be adding fractions like a expert in no time! The initial step is to look for a common denominator for the two fractions you are adding. The smallest common denominator is the lowest number that both fractions will divide equally.

If the fractions you desire to add share the equal denominator, you can avoid this step. If not, to determine the common denominator, you can determine the number of the factors of each number until you determine a common one.

For example, let’s assume we wish to add the fractions 1/3 and 1/6. The lowest common denominator for these two fractions is six for the reason that both denominators will divide evenly into that number.

Here’s a good tip: if you are not sure regarding this process, you can multiply both denominators, and you will [[also|subsequently80] get a common denominator, which would be 18.

Step Two: Adding the Numerators

Now that you possess the common denominator, the immediate step is to turn each fraction so that it has that denominator.

To convert these into an equivalent fraction with the exact denominator, you will multiply both the denominator and numerator by the exact number required to attain the common denominator.

Subsequently the prior example, 6 will become the common denominator. To convert the numerators, we will multiply 1/3 by 2 to attain 2/6, while 1/6 would stay the same.

Now that both the fractions share common denominators, we can add the numerators simultaneously to get 3/6, a proper fraction that we will be moving forward to simplify.

Step Three: Simplifying the Results

The final process is to simplify the fraction. Consequently, it means we need to lower the fraction to its minimum terms. To obtain this, we look for the most common factor of the numerator and denominator and divide them by it. In our example, the greatest common factor of 3 and 6 is 3. When we divide both numbers by 3, we get the concluding result of 1/2.

You go by the same procedure to add and subtract fractions.

Examples of How to Add Fractions

Now, let’s continue to add these two fractions:

2/4 + 6/4

By utilizing the process shown above, you will observe that they share the same denominators. Lucky you, this means you can skip the first stage. At the moment, all you have to do is sum of the numerators and allow it to be the same denominator as it was.

2/4 + 6/4 = 8/4

Now, let’s attempt to simplify the fraction. We can notice that this is an improper fraction, as the numerator is greater than the denominator. This may suggest that you could simplify the fraction, but this is not possible when we deal with proper and improper fractions.

In this example, the numerator and denominator can be divided by 4, its most common denominator. You will get a conclusive result of 2 by dividing the numerator and denominator by two.

Provided that you go by these procedures when dividing two or more fractions, you’ll be a pro at adding fractions in a matter of time.

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

The procedure will require an extra step when you add or subtract fractions with distinct denominators. To do these operations with two or more fractions, they must have the same denominator.

The Steps to Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

As we have said before this, to add unlike fractions, you must follow all three procedures mentioned prior to change these unlike denominators into equivalent fractions

Examples of How to Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators

At this point, we will focus on another example by summing up the following fractions:


As you can see, the denominators are different, and the lowest common multiple is 12. Therefore, we multiply every fraction by a number to attain the denominator of 12.

1/6 * 2 = 2/12

2/3 * 4 = 8/12

6/4 * 3 = 18/12

Once all the fractions have a common denominator, we will go forward to total the numerators:

2/12 + 8/12 + 18/12 = 28/12

We simplify the fraction by splitting the numerator and denominator by 4, concluding with a ultimate answer of 7/3.

Adding Mixed Numbers

We have talked about like and unlike fractions, but now we will revise through mixed fractions. These are fractions accompanied by whole numbers.

The Steps to Adding Mixed Numbers

To work out addition problems with mixed numbers, you must start by converting the mixed number into a fraction. Here are the procedures and keep reading for an example.

Step 1

Multiply the whole number by the numerator

Step 2

Add that number to the numerator.

Step 3

Write down your result as a numerator and retain the denominator.

Now, you go ahead by adding these unlike fractions as you normally would.

Examples of How to Add Mixed Numbers

As an example, we will solve 1 3/4 + 5/4.

First, let’s transform the mixed number into a fraction. You are required to multiply the whole number by the denominator, which is 4. 1 = 4/4

Thereafter, add the whole number represented as a fraction to the other fraction in the mixed number.

4/4 + 3/4 = 7/4

You will be left with this operation:

7/4 + 5/4

By adding the numerators with the exact denominator, we will have a ultimate result of 12/4. We simplify the fraction by dividing both the numerator and denominator by 4, resulting in 3 as a conclusive answer.

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