September 29, 2022

How to Add Fractions: Steps and Examples

Adding fractions is a regular math problem that students learn in school. It can appear scary initially, but it becomes easy with a tiny bit of practice.

This blog article will take you through the steps of adding two or more fractions and adding mixed fractions. We will then provide examples to show what must be done. Adding fractions is necessary for several subjects as you move ahead in science and math, so ensure to adopt these skills initially!

The Procedures for Adding Fractions

Adding fractions is an ability that many kids have a problem with. Nevertheless, it is a moderately easy process once you master the essential principles. There are three major steps to adding fractions: looking for a common denominator, adding the numerators, and streamlining the answer. Let’s closely study each of these steps, and then we’ll do some examples.

Step 1: Look for a Common Denominator

With these useful points, you’ll be adding fractions like a expert in a flash! The first step is to determine a common denominator for the two fractions you are adding. The least common denominator is the lowest number that both fractions will divide evenly.

If the fractions you desire to sum share the identical denominator, you can skip this step. If not, to find the common denominator, you can list out the factors of respective number until you find a common one.

For example, let’s say we want to add the fractions 1/3 and 1/6. The smallest common denominator for these two fractions is six because 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 would be 18.

Step Two: Adding the Numerators

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

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

Following the last example, 6 will become the common denominator. To convert the numerators, we will multiply 1/3 by 2 to attain 2/6, while 1/6 will remain the same.

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

Step Three: Streamlining the Results

The final step is to simplify the fraction. Consequently, it means we are required to diminish the fraction to its minimum terms. To achieve this, we look for the most common factor of the numerator and denominator and divide them by it. In our example, the largest common factor of 3 and 6 is 3. When we divide both numbers by 3, we get the final result of 1/2.

You follow the exact steps 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 using the process shown above, you will notice that they share the same denominators. Lucky you, this means you can avoid the initial stage. At the moment, all you have to do is add the numerators and leave the same denominator as it was.

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 may indicate 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 final result of 2 by dividing the numerator and denominator by two.

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

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

This process will require an extra step when you add or subtract fractions with different 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 follow all three steps mentioned above 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 adding the following fractions:


As demonstrated, the denominators are different, and the least common multiple is 12. Hence, we multiply each fraction by a number to achieve the denominator of 12.

1/6 * 2 = 2/12

2/3 * 4 = 8/12

6/4 * 3 = 18/12

Now that all the fractions have a common denominator, we will proceed to add 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 final answer of 7/3.

Adding Mixed Numbers

We have talked about like and unlike fractions, but now we will go through mixed fractions. These are fractions accompanied by whole numbers.

The Steps to Adding Mixed Numbers

To solve addition sums with mixed numbers, you must initiate by changing the mixed number into a fraction. Here are the steps 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

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

Now, you go ahead by summing these unlike fractions as you generally would.

Examples of How to Add Mixed Numbers

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

First, 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

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

4/4 + 3/4 = 7/4

You will conclude with this result:

7/4 + 5/4

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

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