September 29, 2022

How to Add Fractions: Steps and Examples

Adding fractions is a usual math operation that students study in school. It can appear scary initially, but it becomes easy with a shred of practice.

This blog post will guide the procedure of adding two or more fractions and adding mixed fractions. We will ,on top of that, provide examples to see how this is done. Adding fractions is crucial for various subjects as you progress in science and math, so be sure to adopt these skills early!

The Process of Adding Fractions

Adding fractions is a skill that numerous students struggle with. Despite that, it is a moderately hassle-free process once you understand the fundamental principles. There are three main steps to adding fractions: finding a common denominator, adding the numerators, and simplifying the answer. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps, and then we’ll work on some examples.

Step 1: Determining a Common Denominator

With these useful tips, you’ll be adding fractions like a expert in an instant! The first step is to find a common denominator for the two fractions you are adding. The least common denominator is the minimum number that both fractions will divide equally.

If the fractions you want to sum share the equal denominator, you can avoid this step. If not, to find the common denominator, you can list out the factors of respective number as far as you determine a common one.

For example, let’s assume we want to add the fractions 1/3 and 1/6. The smallest common denominator for these two fractions is six in view of the fact that both denominators will split evenly into that number.

Here’s a good tip: if you are unsure regarding this process, you can multiply both denominators, and you will [[also|subsequently80] get a common denominator, which should be 18.

Step Two: Adding the Numerators

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

To convert these into an equivalent fraction with an identical denominator, you will multiply both the denominator and numerator by the same number necessary to achieve the common denominator.

Subsequently 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.

Now that both the fractions share common denominators, we can add the numerators simultaneously to achieve 3/6, a proper fraction that we will proceed to simplify.

Step Three: Streamlining the Results

The last process is to simplify the fraction. Doing so means we need to lower the fraction to its minimum terms. To accomplish this, we look for the most common factor of the numerator and denominator and divide them by it. In our example, the biggest common factor of 3 and 6 is 3. When we divide both numbers by 3, we get the concluding answer of 1/2.

You follow the same process 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 steps above, you will notice that they share identical denominators. Lucky for you, this means you can skip the initial step. At the moment, all you have to do is add the numerators and let it be the same denominator as before.

2/4 + 6/4 = 8/4

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

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

As long as you go by these steps when dividing two or more fractions, you’ll be a professional at adding fractions in a matter of time.

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

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

The Steps to Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

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

Examples of How to Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Here, we will put more emphasis on another example by adding the following fractions:


As demonstrated, the denominators are dissimilar, and the smallest common multiple is 12. Hence, we multiply every fraction by a number to attain 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 add the numerators:

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

We simplify the fraction by splitting the numerator and denominator by 4, finding a ultimate answer of 7/3.

Adding Mixed Numbers

We have discussed like and unlike fractions, but now we will revise through mixed fractions. These are fractions followed by whole numbers.

The Steps to Adding Mixed Numbers

To work out addition sums with mixed numbers, you must start by changing 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

Take down your result as a numerator and keep the denominator.

Now, you move forward by adding these unlike fractions as you usually would.

Examples of How to Add Mixed Numbers

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

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

Next, add the whole number represented as a fraction to the other fraction in the mixed number.

4/4 + 3/4 = 7/4

You will be left with this operation:

7/4 + 5/4

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

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