How to Add or Subtract Mixed Numbers





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Published on Feb 15, 2011

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Mahalo math expert Julie Clark shows you how to add or subtract mixed numbers.


Numerator: the top portion of a fraction* Denominator: the bottom portion of a fraction

How to Add or Subtract Mixed Numbers

Problem: (3 1/3) - (2 1/4)
1. Turn mixed numbers into fractions by multiplying the denominator by the whole number and adding the numerator. 
2. For 3 1/3, multiply three by three and add one. You should get 10/3.
3. For 2 1/4, multiply four by two and add one. You should get 9/4.
4. In order to subtract 9/4 from 10/3, you need to give them common denominators.
5. To do so, multiply each denominator by the other. Multiplying three by four equals 12. 
6. But remember that what you do to the bottom, you must do to the top, so now multiply both numerators by 10 by four and nine by three.
7. Subtract 27/12 from 40/12. Remember that the denominator does not change.
8. The total is 13/12 or 1 1/12.

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