Fraction addition with steps


A fraction is an equal part of a collection or whole. In simple terms, when you divide a whole into equal parts, you get a fraction. For instance, there are a total of 6 kids, 4 out of 6 are girls, therefore, and the fraction of girls will be 4/6. On the other hand, 2 out of 6 kids are boys. Therefore, the fraction of boys is 2/6. The real-life examples of fractions are equal slices of cake, pizza, fruit, a bar of chocolate, and others. That said, you can add fractions. The addition of fractions involves two or more fractions with similar or different denominator.  Let’s explore and understand addition of fractions.

Fraction Notation

Like mentioned above, a fraction has two parts.  The line on a fraction has a numerator and denominator. The numerator is the number on top of the line. It represents the number of equal parts taken on the whole or collection. The denominator is the number below the line. It represents the total number of equal parts that are in a whole.

Addition of fractions

The addition of fractions depends on:

        Same denominators

        Different denominators

When denominators are the same, the fractions are like fractions, therefore, they can be added directly. Suppose the denominators are different, the fractions are unlike, so, you need to make the denominators same and add the fractions.

Addition of fractions with similar denominators

If the denominators are same, you will add the numerators directly and maintain the denominator. Follow these steps to add:

        Add the numerators together and keep the denominator.

        Write it in simplified fraction.

Example: What is 3/8 + 4/8?

Step 1: Add the numerators

3 + 4 = 7

Step 2: Maintain the same denominator


Step 3: Write the answer in its simplest form


Addition of fractions with different denominators

If the given fractions have different denominator, then, you cannot add the numerator directly. Follow these steps to add:

        Check the denominator of the given fractions.

        Make the denominators to be similar. To do so, find the LCM of the denominators then rationalize them.

        Add the numerators of the given fractions and make the denominator common.

        Simply it to get the final result.

Example: What is 5/9 + 2/3

Step 1: Find the LCM

The LCM is 9

Step 2: Rationalize the denominators

5/9 + 6 / 9

Step 3: Add the numerators

5 + 6 = 11

Step 4: Maintain the same denominator

= 11/9

Step 5: Write the answer in its simplest form

 = 1 2/9

Fraction addition video tutorial

Interesting facts about fractions

        The word “fraction” is derived from latin word “fractus” meaning “broken”

        Fraction is traced back from the Egyptian era.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the rules to add fractions?

Adding fractions has simple rules. Suppose the denominators are the same, then you add directly. However, if the denominators are different, you need to find LCM to rationalize then add.

How do you add fractions with like denominators?

For example; 5/5 and 10/5 are two fractions. Since the fractions have same denominator, you will add the numerator and maintain the denominator. Therefore, 5/5+10/5= (5+10) =15/5=3.