Here's how you add


Step 1Of course, you can't add two fractions if the denominators (bottom numbers) don't match. To get a common denominator, multiply the denominators together. Then we fix the numerators by multiplying each one by their other term's denominator. Now you multiply 3 by 12, and get 36, then we multiply 8 by 12 and get 96. Do the same for the second term. We multiply 3 by 8, and get 24, then multiply 8 by 12 and get 96. The problem now has new fractions to add:


Step 2Since our denominators match, we can add the numerators. 36 + 24 = 60 This yields the answer


Step 3The last step is to reduce the fraction if we can. 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:
So far so good... let's try to divide by that number again. Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 2? Yes! So we reduce it:
So far so good... let's try to divide by that number again. No good. So next you try the next prime number, which is 3... Are both the numerator and the denominator evenly divisible by 3? Yes! So we reduce it:
So far so good... let's try to divide by that number again. No good. So next you try the next prime number, which is 5... No good. So next you try the next prime number, which is 7... No good. 7 is larger than 5. So we're done reducing. And we're done! Here's the final answer to 3/8 + 3/12
