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Learning How to Subtract Fractions

In this post, we are going to see how to subtract fractions, but for that, you first have to know what the denominator and numerator of a fraction are.

The numerator is the number that is written on top of the fraction and the denominator is the number written on the bottom of the fraction.

To subtract fractions, it is necessary that the fractions have the same denominator. Once the fractions have the same denominator, we just subtract the numerators. subtract fractionsWhat do we do if the fractions have different denominators? In this case, we make the denominators the same by finding their least common multiple (LCM).

Let’s look at an example:

subtract fractions

Since the denominators are different, 4 and 6, we have to find their least common multiple (LCM). You can review how to calculate the LCM on this previous post on our blog.

LCM (4,6) = 12

The two new fractions will have 12 as a denominator.

subtract fractions

In order to find the numerator of each new fraction, divide the new denominator (the LCM that we have found) by the old denominator and multiply the answer by the old numerator.

The first fraction: subtract fractionsThe second fraction:

subtract fractions

So now we have:subtract fractions

As both fractions have the same denominator, now we can subtract the numerators and leave the same denominator:

subtract fractions

And the result is one-twelfth.

If you have liked this post, share it with your friends so that they can also learn how to subtract fractions.

And if you want to learn more elementary math, try Smartick for free!

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Diane Ackerman
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