Adding common (ordinary) fractions, online calculator: add fractions with different (unlike) or equal (like) denominators, by the method of building up their denominators the same (up to a common denominator), by expanding the fractions. Result and the addition process explained

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Add common ordinary fractions, online calculator:

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How to: Adding ordinary (simple, common) fractions. Steps.

There are two cases regarding the denominators when we add ordinary fractions:

  • A. the fractions have like denominators;
  • B. the fractions have unlike denominators.

A. How to add ordinary fractions that have like denominators?

  • Simply add the numerators of the fractions.
  • The denominator of the resulting fraction will be the common denominator of the fractions.
  • Reduce the resulting fraction.

An example of adding ordinary fractions that have like denominators, with explanations

B. To add fractions with different denominators (unlike denominators), build up the fractions to the same denominator. How is it done?

  • 1. Reduce the fractions to the lowest terms (simplifying).

  • 2. Calculate the least common multiple, LCM, of all the fractions' new denominators:

    • LCM is going to be the common denominator of the added fractions.
    • Factor all the new denominators of the reduced fractions (run the prime factorization).
    • The least common multiple, LCM, is the product of all the unique prime factors of the denominators, taken by the largest exponents.
    • Calculate LCM, the least common multiple of numbers.

  • 3. Calculate each fraction's expanding number:

    • The expanding number is the non-zero number that will be used to multiply both the numerator and the denominator of each fraction, in order to build all the fractions up to the same common denominator.
    • Divide the least common multiple, LCM, calculated above, by each fraction's denominator, in order to calculate each fraction's expanding number.
  • 4. Expand each fraction:

    • Multiply each fraction's both numerator and denominator by expanding number.
    • At this point, fractions are built up to the same denominator.
  • 5. Add the fractions:

    • In order to add all the fractions simply add all the fractions' numerators.
    • The end fraction will have as a denominator the least common multiple, LCM, calculated above.
  • 6. Reduce the end fraction to the lowest terms, if needed.

Read the rest of this article, here > How to add ordinary (common) fractions

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