By Kate F. Griffith on May 15 2018 15:25:16

If you have mastered adding and subtracting fractions, often multiplying fractions will seem a lot less complicated. Many of the steps feel similar, but much of the work associated with common denominators is gone. However, multiplying fractions will put your reducing skills to the test! If you need more help, the fraction calculator at the link below is a powerful tool for seeing how fraction multiplication problems work.

Start by following the basic process for fraction multiplication, turning any mixed fractions into improper ones. Before you cross cancel or multiply, however, swap the numerator and the denominator in the second fraction. This is called taking the reciprocal and it is the key step to turn this into a division operation. Then, cross cancel, multiply across to get the answer fraction, and reduce.

When adding fractions without a common denominator, it is necessary to find a common denominator before adding the numerators. Find two equivalent fractions by determining the least common multiple of the two denominators and using that as the denominator for both fractions.

We often talk of dividing as being the reverse of multiplying, and indeed when dividing fractions this is the case. The way you divide fractions is very similar to the way fractions are multiplied with a simple twist in the middle.

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