This tutorial will discuss strategies for subtracting fractions and mixed numbers

Table of Contents

## 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.