 # What is 9/12 + 5/10? Let's add

 9 12
+
 5 10

## Step 1

We can't add two fractions with different denominators (the bottom number). So you need to get a common denominator - both bottom numbers need to match. To do this, you'll multiply the denominators times each other... but the numerators have to change, too. They get multiplied by the other term's denominator.

So we multiply 9 by 10, and get 90, then we multiply 12 by 10 and get 120. Do the same for the second term. We multiply 5 by 12, and get 60, then multiply 12 by 10 and get 120. So now our fractions look like this:

 90 120
+
 60 120

## Step 2

Since our denominators match, we can add the numerators.

90 + 60 = 150

Now we have an answer.

 150 120

## Step 3

Last of all, we need to simplify the fraction, if possible. Can it be reduced to a simpler fraction?

To find out, we try dividing it by 2...

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

 150 120
÷ 2 =
 75 60

Let's try dividing by that again...

Nope! So now we try the next greatest prime number, 3...

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

 75 60
÷ 3 =
 25 20

Let's try dividing by that again...

Nope! So now we try the next greatest prime number, 5...

Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 5? Yes! So we reduce it:

 25 20
÷ 5 =
 5 4

Let's try dividing by that again...

No good. 5 is larger than 4. So we're done reducing.

There you have it! Here's the final answer to 9/12 + 5/10

 9 12
+
 5 10
=
 5 4
© 2014 Randy Tayler