 # What is 5/12 - 1/4? Here's how to subtract 1/4 from 5/12:

 5 12
 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 5 by 4, and get 20.

Then we multiply 1 by 12, and get 12.

Next we give both terms new denominators -- 12 × 4 = 48.

So now our fractions look like this:

 20 48
 12 48

## Step 2

Since our denominators match, we can subtract the numerators.

20 − 12 = 8

 8 48

## 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:

 8 48
÷ 2 =
 4 24

Let's try dividing by 2 again...

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

 4 24
÷ 2 =
 2 12

Let's try dividing by 2 again...

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

 2 12
÷ 2 =
 1 6

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:
 5 12
 1 4
=
 1 6