September 29, 2022

How to Add Fractions: Examples and Steps

Adding fractions is a common math problem that kids learn in school. It can seem scary at first, but it becomes easy with a bit of practice.

This blog post will walk you through the process of adding two or more fractions and adding mixed fractions. We will also provide examples to show what must be done. Adding fractions is necessary for a lot of subjects as you advance in science and mathematics, so ensure to master these skills initially!

The Process of Adding Fractions

Adding fractions is an ability that a lot of children have a problem with. Nevertheless, it is a somewhat simple process once you grasp the essential principles. There are three main steps to adding fractions: finding a common denominator, adding the numerators, and simplifying the answer. Let’s closely study each of these steps, and then we’ll look into some examples.

Step 1: Look for a Common Denominator

With these helpful points, 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 minimum number that both fractions will share evenly.

If the fractions you want to sum share the identical denominator, you can skip this step. If not, to find the common denominator, you can list out the factors of respective number as far as you find a common one.

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

Here’s a quick tip: if you are unsure about this step, you can multiply both denominators, and you will [[also|subsequently80] get a common denominator, which would be 18.

Step Two: Adding the Numerators

Once you have 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 same denominator, you will multiply both the denominator and numerator by the identical number necessary to attain the common denominator.

Subsequently the last example, 6 will become the common denominator. To change the numerators, we will multiply 1/3 by 2 to attain 2/6, while 1/6 would remain 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 continue to simplify.

Step Three: Streamlining the Results

The last process is to simplify the fraction. Consequently, it means we are required to reduce the fraction to its minimum terms. To achieve this, we search 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 final result of 1/2.

You go by the same process 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 using the process shown above, you will notice that they share the same denominators. You are lucky, this means you can skip the first step. At the moment, all you have to do is add the numerators and leave the same denominator as before.

2/4 + 6/4 = 8/4

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

In this instance, 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.

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

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

This process will require an supplementary step when you add or subtract fractions with dissimilar denominators. To do this function with two or more fractions, they must have the same denominator.

The Steps to Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

As we have said above, to add unlike fractions, you must follow all three procedures stated prior to transform these unlike denominators into equivalent fractions

Examples of How to Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Here, we will focus on another example by adding the following fractions:


As shown, the denominators are different, and the smallest common multiple is 12. Therefore, we multiply each fraction by a value to attain the denominator of 12.

1/6 * 2 = 2/12

2/3 * 4 = 8/12

6/4 * 3 = 18/12

Considering that all the fractions have a common denominator, we will go forward to add the numerators:

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

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

Adding Mixed Numbers

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

The Steps to Adding Mixed Numbers

To work out addition exercises with mixed numbers, you must initiate by turning 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

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

Now, you proceed by summing these unlike fractions as you usually would.

Examples of How to Add Mixed Numbers

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

Foremost, let’s change 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 conclude with this result:

7/4 + 5/4

By summing the numerators with the similar denominator, we will have a conclusive 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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