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: 2


least common denominator

Work Step by Step

To rewrite unlike fractions as like fractions, we must find the least common denominator (or the denominator that is the least common multiple of the original denominators) of the unlike fractions. For example, if we want to add $\frac{3}{8}$ and $\frac{1}{4}$, we must find the least common multiple of 4 and 8. We know that this is 8. Therefore, we can rewrite this pair as like fractions. $\frac{3}{8}+\frac{1}{4}=\frac{3}{8}+\frac{1\times2}{4\times2}=\frac{3}{8}+\frac{2}{8}=\frac{3+2}{8}=\frac{5}{8}$
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