This tutorial will discuss strategies for subtracting fractions and mixed numbers
Rules for Subtracting Fractions
Follow these rules for subtracting fractions.
- Make sure the denominators (the bottom numbers) are the same.
- Subtract the numerators (the top numbers only), put the number over the common denominator.
- Simplify the fraction (if necessary).
Look at this example:
Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators
But what if the denominators are different such as 1/2 – 1/6
You must find the least common denominator in this case (2 x 6 = 12)
The factions should be changed to have a common denominator so 1/2 – 1/6 ——–> 6/12 – 2/12
Follow the above rules: 6/12 – 2/12 = 4/12 then simplify to 1/3.
Subtracting Mixed Numbers
Change mixed numbers to improper fractions then follow the above rules. Once the subtraction is complete change the answer to a mixed number.
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.