Basic College Mathematics (10th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0134467795
ISBN 13: 978-0-13446-779-5

Chapter 3 - Adding and Subtracting Fractions - 3.3 Adding and Subtracting Unlike Fractions - 3.3 Exercises - Page 219: 1



Work Step by Step

When attempting to add or subtract unlike fractions, we must first rewrite the fractions as like fractions. We do this by finding the least common denominator (or the denominator that is the least common multiple of the original denominators). For example, if we want to add $\frac{1}{2}$ and $\frac{1}{4}$, we must find the least common multiple of 2 and 4. We know that this is 4. Therefore, we can rewrite this pair as like fractions. $\frac{1}{2}+\frac{1}{4}=\frac{1\times2}{2\times2}+\frac{1}{4}=\frac{2}{4}+\frac{1}{4}=\frac{2+1}{4}=\frac{3}{4}$
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