By Darlene R. Yost on May 15 2018 15:28:29

Here’s hoping that now simplifying fractions for you would be easy and not so ‘trick-y’. Happy Fractions!

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.

Subtracting fractions is similar to adding fractions. Most of the work involves the denominator. If the denominators of the two fractions are already the same, much of the work is done. Simply subtract the two numerators to get the answer fraction using the same denominator, and then reduce and make a proper fraction.

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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