 Learning to Add Fractions: Homework Help for Students

Once you addition with fractions, you can move on to multiplying and dividing fractions. These units can seem tricky at first, but with plenty of practice they will become de-mystified. Below are some explanations and vocabulary words to help make fraction addition easier. How to Do Fractions

Important Fraction Vocabulary

Fraction
A fraction is part of a whole. Fractions are usually represented with a line that divides two numbers, like 5/6, which means that there are five out of six parts of something.
Numerator
The number above the line is the numerator. In the fraction 4/5, 4 is the numerator. In other words, the numerator is the number of pieces that exist. If you cut a pizza into 6 equal slices and eat 4, you have eaten 4/6 of the whole, so the 4 is the number of pieces you ate.
Denominator
The denominator is the bottom number in a fraction. In 4/5, 5 is the denominator. This number tells you the size of the whole item you are breaking into pieces. In the pizza example, the denominator tells you how many total slices of pizza there are to begin with.
Equivalent Fractions
When two fractions are equal to the same percentage of the whole, we call them equivalent fractions. An example is 4/8 and 1/2. Dividing both the numerator and the denominator by 4 can reduce the first fraction and turn it into the second.

Adding with Common Denominators

The first type of addition you need to learn is adding fractions with the same denominators. To do this, simply add the numerators of the fractions, and carry over the denominator. For example, to add 3/8 + 2/8, add 3 and 2, and keep the denominator (8). The answers is 5/8.

Adding with Unlike Denominators

Adding fractions with uncommon denominators is a little more challenging. The first step of this process is to give the fractions a common denominator, which you can do by using equivalent fractions. Then, the fractions can be added as usual.

Example Problem

Take the example 3/4 + 3/12. Since 4 x 3 is 12, you can multiply both the numerator and denominator of the first fraction by 3 to make the denominators of both fractions the same.Since 3 x 3 = 9, the new fraction is 9/12. Now add this to the second fraction in the usual way: 9/12 + 3/12. The answer is 12/12, which can be reduced to 1.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning • What Huntington Learning offers:
• Online and in-center tutoring
• One on one tutoring
• Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online

K12 • What K12 offers:
• Online tutoring
• Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
• AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids • What Kaplan Kids offers:
• Online tutoring
• Customized learning plans
• Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only

Kumon • What Kumon offers:
• In-center tutoring
• Individualized programs for your child
• Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning • What Sylvan Learning offers:
• Online and in-center tutoring
• Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
• Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor • What Tutor Doctor offers:
• In-Home tutoring
• One on one attention by the tutor
• Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only

TutorVista • What TutorVista offers:
• Online tutoring
• Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
• Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only