September 29, 2022

How to Add Fractions: Steps and Examples

Adding fractions is a usual math problem that kids learn in school. It can seem intimidating initially, but it turns easy with a bit of practice.

This blog post will take you through the steps of adding two or more fractions and adding mixed fractions. We will also provide examples to demonstrate how it is done. Adding fractions is essential for a lot of subjects as you advance in mathematics and science, so be sure to master these skills initially!

The Steps of Adding Fractions

Adding fractions is a skill that many kids have a problem with. Nevertheless, it is a moderately hassle-free process once you master the basic principles. There are three major steps to adding fractions: finding a common denominator, adding the numerators, and simplifying the results. Let’s closely study every one of these steps, and then we’ll work on some examples.

Step 1: Look for a Common Denominator

With these valuable tips, you’ll be adding fractions like a professional in no time! The initial step is to find a common denominator for the two fractions you are adding. The smallest common denominator is the lowest number that both fractions will share uniformly.

If the fractions you desire to add share the same denominator, you can skip this step. If not, to find the common denominator, you can determine the number of the factors of each number as far as you find a common one.

For example, let’s say we desire to add the fractions 1/3 and 1/6. The lowest common denominator for these two fractions is six for the reason that both denominators will divide equally into that number.

Here’s a great tip: if you are not sure regarding this process, you can multiply both denominators, and you will [[also|subsequently80] get a common denominator, which would be 18.

Step Two: Adding the Numerators

Once you possess the common denominator, the immediate step is to change each fraction so that it has that denominator.

To convert these into an equivalent fraction with the same denominator, you will multiply both the denominator and numerator by the exact number required to get the common denominator.

Following the prior example, six will become the common denominator. To change the numerators, we will multiply 1/3 by 2 to achieve 2/6, while 1/6 would stay the same.

Since both the fractions share common denominators, we can add the numerators collectively to get 3/6, a proper fraction that we will proceed to simplify.

Step Three: Simplifying the Answers

The final process is to simplify the fraction. Consequently, it means we are required to lower the fraction to its lowest terms. To accomplish this, we search for the most common factor of the numerator and denominator and divide them by it. In our example, the greatest common factor of 3 and 6 is 3. When we divide both numbers by 3, we get the ultimate answer of 1/2.

You go by the exact procedure to add and subtract fractions.

Examples of How to Add Fractions

Now, let’s continue to add these two fractions:

2/4 + 6/4

By utilizing the process shown above, you will observe that they share the same denominators. Lucky you, this means you can skip the initial stage. At the moment, all you have to do is sum of the numerators and leave the same denominator as before.

2/4 + 6/4 = 8/4

Now, let’s attempt to simplify the fraction. We can notice that this is an improper fraction, as the numerator is greater than the denominator. This could indicate that you could simplify the fraction, but this is not possible when we deal with proper and improper fractions.

In this instance, the numerator and denominator can be divided by 4, its most common denominator. You will get a conclusive answer of 2 by dividing the numerator and denominator by two.

As long as you go by these procedures when dividing two or more fractions, you’ll be a expert at adding fractions in no time.

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

This process will require an supplementary step when you add or subtract fractions with distinct denominators. To do these operations with two or more fractions, they must have the same denominator.

The Steps to Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

As we mentioned before this, to add unlike fractions, you must obey all three procedures stated prior to change these unlike denominators into equivalent fractions

Examples of How to Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Here, we will focus on another example by summing up the following fractions:


As shown, the denominators are different, and the least common multiple is 12. Therefore, we multiply every fraction by a value to get the denominator of 12.

1/6 * 2 = 2/12

2/3 * 4 = 8/12

6/4 * 3 = 18/12

Considering that all the fractions have a common denominator, we will move ahead to total the numerators:

2/12 + 8/12 + 18/12 = 28/12

We simplify the fraction by dividing the numerator and denominator by 4, concluding with a ultimate result of 7/3.

Adding Mixed Numbers

We have mentioned like and unlike fractions, but presently we will go through mixed fractions. These are fractions followed by whole numbers.

The Steps to Adding Mixed Numbers

To figure out addition problems with mixed numbers, you must initiate by turning the mixed number into a fraction. Here are the procedures and keep reading for an example.

Step 1

Multiply the whole number by the numerator

Step 2

Add that number to the numerator.

Step 3

Note down your answer as a numerator and keep the denominator.

Now, you move forward by summing these unlike fractions as you generally would.

Examples of How to Add Mixed Numbers

As an example, we will work with 1 3/4 + 5/4.

Foremost, let’s convert the mixed number into a fraction. You will need to multiply the whole number by the denominator, which is 4. 1 = 4/4

Then, add the whole number described as a fraction to the other fraction in the mixed number.

4/4 + 3/4 = 7/4

You will end up with this result:

7/4 + 5/4

By adding the numerators with the same denominator, we will have a ultimate answer of 12/4. We simplify the fraction by dividing both the numerator and denominator by 4, ensuing in 3 as a final answer.

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