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How to Subtract Fractions With Different Denominators

  • 1

    We should make the denominators (the bottom numbers) the same in the two fractions

    Example:
    4
    8
    -
    2
    12
    In order to make the two fractions be the same denominator, multiply the numerator and the denominator (top and bottom number) of the first fraction by the denominator (bottom number) of the second fraction.
    And the same for the second fraction, multiply the numbers (above and below) by the denominator of the first fraction
    =
    4 x 12
    8 x 12
    -
    2 x 8
    12 x 8
    =
    48
    96
    -
    16
    96
  • 2

    When the denominators are identical, we can then subtract the numerators (top numbers of the fractions) to get the result.

    48
    96
    -
    16
    96
    =
    48 - 16
    96
    =
    32
    96
  • 3

    Simplify the fraction if necessary by obtaining the greatest common factor (GCF) of the fraction.
    For more details click here
    The greatest common factor in this fraction is 32

    32
    96
    =
    32 ÷ 32
    96 ÷ 32
    =
    1
    3

How to Subtract Fractions With Common Denominators

  • 1

    Subtracting fractions with common denominators, we only need to subtract the numerators, and the denominator remains the same.

    4
    8
    -
    2
    8
    =
    4 - 2
    8
    =
    2
    8
  • 2

    Simplify the fraction if necessary by obtaining the greatest common factor (GCF) of the fraction.
    For more details click here
    The greatest common factor in this fraction is 2

    2
    8
    =
    2 ÷ 2
    8 ÷ 2
    =
    1
    4

📌 Negative signs in fractions

Positive Fractions

-1
-2
=
-
1
-2
=
-
-1
2
=
1
2

Negative Fractions

-1
2
=
1
-2
=
-
-1
-2
=
-
1
2