 # What is 1/2 - 1/4? Here's how to subtract 1/4 from 1/2:

 1 2
 1 4

## Step 1

We can't subtract two fractions with different denominators. So you need to get a common denominator. 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 1 by 4, and get 4.

Then we multiply 1 by 2, and get 2.

Next we give both terms new denominators -- 2 × 4 = 8.

So now our fractions look like this:

 4 8
 2 8

## Step 2

Since our denominators match, we can subtract the numerators.

4 − 2 = 2

 2 8

## 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:

 2 8
÷ 2 =
 1 4

Let's try dividing by 2 again...

No good. 2 is larger than 1. So we're done reducing.

There you have it! The final answer is:
 1 2
 1 4
=
 1 4