September 29, 2022

How to Add Fractions: Steps and Examples

Adding fractions is a usual math application that children learn in school. It can look daunting initially, but it becomes easy with a bit of practice.

This blog post will take you through the process of adding two or more fractions and adding mixed fractions. We will then provide examples to demonstrate how it is done. Adding fractions is crucial for various subjects as you advance in math and science, so ensure to learn these skills early!

The Procedures for Adding Fractions

Adding fractions is a skill that numerous kids have a problem with. Nevertheless, it is a somewhat simple process once you master the fundamental principles. There are three primary steps to adding fractions: looking for a common denominator, adding the numerators, and simplifying the results. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps, and then we’ll look into some examples.

Step 1: Determining a Common Denominator

With these helpful points, you’ll be adding fractions like a professional in no time! The initial step is to find a common denominator for the two fractions you are adding. The smallest common denominator is the lowest number that both fractions will divide equally.

If the fractions you want to add share the identical denominator, you can avoid this step. If not, to look for the common denominator, you can determine the amount of the factors of each number as far as you find a common one.

For example, let’s assume we wish to add the fractions 1/3 and 1/6. The smallest common denominator for these two fractions is six because both denominators will split evenly into that number.

Here’s a great tip: if you are uncertain 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 following step is to turn each fraction so that it has that denominator.

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

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

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

Step Three: Streamlining the Results

The last step is to simplify the fraction. As a result, it means we are required to lower the fraction to its lowest terms. To accomplish this, we look for the most common factor of the numerator and denominator and divide them by it. In our example, the biggest common factor of 3 and 6 is 3. When we divide both numbers by 3, we get the ultimate answer of 1/2.

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

Examples of How to Add Fractions

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

2/4 + 6/4

By utilizing the process shown above, you will see that they share identical denominators. Lucky you, this means you can avoid the initial stage. At the moment, all you have to do is add the numerators and let it be the same denominator as before.

2/4 + 6/4 = 8/4

Now, let’s attempt to simplify the fraction. We can perceive that this is an improper fraction, as the numerator is greater than the denominator. This may 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 final result of 2 by dividing the numerator and denominator by two.

Provided that you go by these steps when dividing two or more fractions, you’ll be a pro at adding fractions in matter of days.

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

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

The Steps to Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

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

Examples of How to Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Here, we will put more emphasis on another example by summing up the following fractions:


As demonstrated, the denominators are distinct, and the least common multiple is 12. Thus, we multiply every fraction by a value to get 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 go forward to total the numerators:

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

We simplify the fraction by splitting the numerator and denominator by 4, concluding with a ultimate answer of 7/3.

Adding Mixed Numbers

We have discussed like and unlike fractions, but now we will touch upon mixed fractions. These are fractions followed by whole numbers.

The Steps to Adding Mixed Numbers

To figure out addition problems with mixed numbers, you must initiate by turning 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

Note down your result as a numerator and retain the denominator.

Now, you go ahead by adding these unlike fractions as you normally would.

Examples of How to Add Mixed Numbers

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

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

Next, add the whole number represented 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 summing the numerators with the same denominator, we will have a ultimate answer of 12/4. We simplify the fraction by dividing both the numerator and denominator by 4, resulting in 3 as a conclusive answer.

Use Grade Potential to Enhance Your Mathematics Skills Today

If you're struggling to understand adding fractions, consider signing up for a tutoring class with Grade Potential. One of our professional teachers can assist you learn the topic and ace your next examination.