How To Add Fractions

What Is A Fraction

A fraction is a small amount or proportion of a whole. Fractions are used to quantify amounts that are less than a whole unit. E.G 2/5, 3/8, 7/9 ETC. Fractions generally follow in the format N/D where N is the numerator and D is the denominator.

There are generally 4 forms of fractions:

  • Proper Fraction
  • Improper Fraction
  • Mixed Number
  • Complex Number

How To Add Fractions

Adding fractions is not a particularly difficult task, we will avoid using mathematical lingo so as to explain fraction addition in the most rudimentary form. The same way there are different kinds of fractions there are also different kinds of fraction additions. Take for example adding 2/5 to 1/5 is very straight forward because both fractions have the same denominator (5). Hence you can simply say 2/5 + 1/5= 3/5.

However, adding 3/4 to to 2/3 is not as straight forward as our previous example but that does not mean it is difficult or impossible. Remember how we it was easy to add our first example because the denominator was the same? That is the solution to our problem. We simply have to make the denominators the same value once again. So how do we make denominators 3 and 4 have the same value? Simple enough, we simply multiply both fractions until their denominator are equal. Better still let us show you what we mean. If we multiply 3/4 by 3 we will have 9/12 and if we multiply 2/3 by 4 we will have 8/12. This two results are exactly equal to their previous forms if you divide one step down so they are basically the same fractions just bigger numbers. Now that the denominators are the exact same thing (12) we can proceed with our addition. 9/12 + 8/12= 17/12 {or 1 5/12 (One whole number 5 over 12)}.

Explanation With Pizza

When trying to add fractions, be it that they have the same or different denominators, the goal should always be to get the denominators down to the same number. Take for example. You have 6 friends in a house and you order 2 large pizzas, on delivery one of the pizza boxes were sliced into 6 places (This will go round perfectly at 1 slice per person) and the second pizza box was only sliced into 3 places due to an error from the pizza house. If you intend to share the pizza equally you have to find a way to make the 3 pizza slices into 6. Hence you will have to divide them into 2 places each so that there are now 6 equally sized slices and each friend gets 2 slices each (One slice from each box).

Same rule applies for when you have more than 2 fractions. Nothing changes. Just get denominators down to the same number by multiply fractions till all denominators are equal.

Hope this tutorial on how to add fractions was helpful? If you have any further questions please ask them in the comments section below.


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