By Darlene R. Yost on May 09 2018 05:39:19
When you see a fraction, you see a numerator and a denominator. To find the common factor, see whichever number among these is least: The numerator, the denominator or the difference between numerator and denominator.
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.
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.
If the two values being subtracted are mixed fractions, it is often easier to turn them into improper fractions to perform the subtraction. This avoids any kind regrouping or borrowing from the minuend fraction if the numerator in the subtrahend is larger.