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How to Add Fractions

Simplify your life, and your fractions, by following these steps.


  • Step 1: Add fractions with the same denominator Add fractions that have the same bottom number, or denominator. Add the top numbers, or numerators, together, and keep the denominator the same.
  • Step 2: Find common denominator When you are adding fractions with different denominators, find a denominator that is common to both fractions. To change a denominator without changing the value of the fraction, multiply the top and the bottom numbers by the same number.
  • TIP: For instance, to add the fractions 3/4 and 5/12, multiply both numbers in 3/4 by three to get 9/12.
  • Step 3: Add numerators Add the numerators together, and keep the denominators the same. For example, add 9/12 and 5/12 by adding the numerators – nine and five – to get 14/12.
  • Step 4: Simplify Simplify the solution by dividing the numerator and denominator by the same number to make the lowest possible fraction. For example, the fraction 14/12 can be simplified by dividing both numbers by two for the answer 7/6, which can also be written as 1 1/6.
  • FACT: Fractions have been used throughout the last 2,000 years.

You Will Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper

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