 # What is 3/12 + 2/8? Here's how we add

 3 12
+
 2 8

## Step 1

We still have different denominators (bottom numbers), though, so we need to get a common denominator. This will make the bottom numbers match. Multiply the denominators together first. Now, multiply each numerator by the other term's denominator.

Now we multiply 3 by 8, and get 24, then we multiply 12 by 8 and get 96. Now for the second term. You multiply 2 by 12, and get 24, then multiply 12 by 8 and get 96. This gives us a new problem that looks like so:

 24 96
+
 24 96

## Step 2

Since our denominators match, we can add the numerators.

24 + 24 = 48

That gives us an answer of

 48 96

## Step 3

Can this fraction be reduced?

First, we attempt to divide it by 2...

Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 2? Yes! So we reduce it:

 48 96
÷ 2 =
 24 48

Now, try the same number again.

Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 2? Yes! So we reduce it:

 24 48
÷ 2 =
 12 24

Now, try the same number again.

Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 2? Yes! So we reduce it:

 12 24
÷ 2 =
 6 12

Now, try the same number again.

Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 2? Yes! So we reduce it:

 6 12
÷ 2 =
 3 6

Now, try the same number again.

Nope. Try the next prime number, 3...

Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 3? Yes! So we reduce it:

 3 6
÷ 3 =
 1 2

Now, try the same number again.

No good. 3 is larger than 1. So we're done reducing.

Congratulations! Here's your final answer to 3/12 + 2/8

 3 12
+
 2 8
=
 1 2
© 2014 Randy Tayler