Add Fractions

This tutorial will discuss strategies for adding fractions and mixed numbers.

Rules for Adding Fractions


Follow these rules for adding fractions.

  1. Make sure the denominators (the bottom numbers) are the same.
  2. Add the numerators (the top numbers only), put the number over the common denominator.
  3. Simplify the fraction (if necessary).

Look at this example:

add fractions

Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators


But what if the denominators are different such as: 1/3 + 1/6

You must find the least common denominator in this case (3 x 6 = 18)

The factions should be changed to have a common denominator so 1/3 + 1/6 ——–> 6/18 +3/18

Follow the above rules: 6/18 + 3/18 = 9/18 then simplify to 1/2.

Add Mixed Numbers


Change mixed numbers to improper fractions then follow the above rules. Once the addition is complete change the answer to a mixed number.

add fractions 2

Watch a Video Tutorial


Here is a video tutorial comparing fractions.

Interactive Class on this Topic


Take an interactive middle school math class on this material, click here.

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