September 29, 2022

How to Add Fractions: Examples and Steps

Adding fractions is a regular math application that kids learn in school. It can look intimidating at first, but it turns easy with a bit of practice.

This blog post will walk you through the steps of adding two or more fractions and adding mixed fractions. We will then provide examples to show how this is done. Adding fractions is necessary for various subjects as you progress in science and mathematics, so ensure to adopt these skills initially!

The Procedures for Adding Fractions

Adding fractions is an ability that many children struggle with. However, it is a moderately hassle-free process once you understand the basic principles. There are three primary steps to adding fractions: looking for a common denominator, adding the numerators, and simplifying the results. Let’s carefully analyze each of these steps, and then we’ll look into some examples.

Step 1: Look for a Common Denominator

With these useful tips, you’ll be adding fractions like a expert in a flash! The initial step is to look for a common denominator for the two fractions you are adding. The least common denominator is the minimum number that both fractions will divide evenly.

If the fractions you want to sum share the equal denominator, you can skip this step. If not, to determine the common denominator, you can determine the amount of the factors of each number as far as you determine a common one.

For example, let’s say we wish to add the fractions 1/3 and 1/6. The smallest common denominator for these two fractions is six in view of the fact that both denominators will divide uniformly into that number.

Here’s a quick tip: if you are not sure regarding this step, you can multiply both denominators, and you will [[also|subsequently80] get a common denominator, which would be 18.

Step Two: Adding the Numerators

Once you possess the common denominator, the immediate step is to turn each fraction so that it has that denominator.

To convert these into an equivalent fraction with the exact denominator, you will multiply both the denominator and numerator by the identical number required to achieve the common denominator.

Following the last example, 6 will become the common denominator. To convert the numerators, we will multiply 1/3 by 2 to attain 2/6, while 1/6 would stay the same.

Since both the fractions share common denominators, we can add the numerators collectively to attain 3/6, a proper fraction that we will proceed to simplify.

Step Three: Streamlining the Results

The final step is to simplify the fraction. As a result, it means we are required to reduce the fraction to its lowest terms. To obtain this, we find the most common factor of the numerator and denominator and divide them by it. In our example, the greatest common factor of 3 and 6 is 3. When we divide both numbers by 3, we get the concluding answer of 1/2.

You go by the same steps to add and subtract fractions.

Examples of How to Add Fractions

Now, let’s continue to add these two fractions:

2/4 + 6/4

By utilizing the process shown above, you will observe that they share the same denominators. You are lucky, this means you can skip the initial stage. Now, all you have to do is add the numerators and leave the same denominator as it was.

2/4 + 6/4 = 8/4

Now, let’s try to simplify the fraction. We can perceive that this is an improper fraction, as the numerator is greater than the denominator. This could suggest that you can simplify the fraction, but this is not necessarily the case with proper and improper fractions.

In this instance, the numerator and denominator can be divided by 4, its most common denominator. You will get a conclusive answer of 2 by dividing the numerator and denominator by 2.

Provided that you follow these steps when dividing two or more fractions, you’ll be a expert at adding fractions in no time.

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

The procedure will require an extra step when you add or subtract fractions with different denominators. To do these operations with two or more fractions, they must have the same denominator.

The Steps to Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

As we mentioned above, to add unlike fractions, you must obey all three procedures stated prior to transform these unlike denominators into equivalent fractions

Examples of How to Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators

At this point, we will put more emphasis on another example by adding the following fractions:


As you can see, the denominators are different, and the lowest common multiple is 12. Thus, we multiply each fraction by a value to achieve the denominator of 12.

1/6 * 2 = 2/12

2/3 * 4 = 8/12

6/4 * 3 = 18/12

Now that all the fractions have a common denominator, we will move ahead to total the numerators:

2/12 + 8/12 + 18/12 = 28/12

We simplify the fraction by splitting the numerator and denominator by 4, finding a final answer of 7/3.

Adding Mixed Numbers

We have discussed like and unlike fractions, but now we will revise through mixed fractions. These are fractions accompanied by whole numbers.

The Steps to Adding Mixed Numbers

To solve addition problems with mixed numbers, you must initiate by converting the mixed number into a fraction. Here are the procedures and keep reading for an example.

Step 1

Multiply the whole number by the numerator

Step 2

Add that number to the numerator.

Step 3

Take down your answer as a numerator and keep the denominator.

Now, you proceed by summing these unlike fractions as you normally would.

Examples of How to Add Mixed Numbers

As an example, we will work with 1 3/4 + 5/4.

First, let’s change the mixed number into a fraction. You are required to multiply the whole number by the denominator, which is 4. 1 = 4/4

Thereafter, add the whole number described as a fraction to the other fraction in the mixed number.

4/4 + 3/4 = 7/4

You will end up with this result:

7/4 + 5/4

By adding the numerators with the same denominator, we will have a conclusive answer of 12/4. We simplify the fraction by dividing both the numerator and denominator by 4, ensuing in 3 as a final result.

Use Grade Potential to Improve Your Mathematics Skills Today

If you're struggling to understand adding fractions, think about signing up for a tutoring session with Grade Potential. One of our expert instructors can help you understand the material and ace your next examination.