MathHelper is here to help you with difficult math basics -- adding fractions, subtracting fractions, multiplying and dividing fractions, factoring numbers, identifying prime numbers, and calculating percentages. Here you'll get step-by-step instructions on thousands of math problems, walking you through their solutions.
Adding and subtracting fractions can be hairy. First, if they're a mixed fraction, you have to convert them to an improper fraction -- that is, a fraction where the numerator (top number) is greater than the denominator (bottom number). Then you have to make the denominators match if they don't already... which usually means multiplying each term by the denominator of the other term. THEN you can add or subtract -- but that may not be the final answer. You still have to reduce it to it's most simple form. 2/4 should be reduced to 1/2, for instance. To do this you try dividing the numerator and denominator by 2 as many times as you can and still get a whole number as a result, then you try 3, then 5, and so on... until the number you're trying is greater than the numerator or denominator.
Click on any of the problems to the right to get an example, step-by-step, for each of those fractions. Or, use the form below to generate the exact fraction you want to see in action.