How To: Divide fractions in math

Divide fractions in math

When you see a problem involving a fraction, don't freak out. Dividing fractions is actually fairly easy once you learn the simple formula of how to do it.

Math can be scary, but don't give up. Follow these simple steps, and soon you'll be dividing fractions like a pro.

Step 1: Write the problem

Write out the first fraction, a divided-by sign, and the second fraction. This will help you visualize the steps you need to take to divide the fractions.

Step 2: Invert the second fraction

Invert the second fraction by flipping it so that the bottom number is at the top. Rewrite the problem with the first fraction multiplied by the second, now inverted, fraction.

TIP: For example, rewrite one-half divided by three-fourths as one-half multiplied by four-thirds.

Step 3: Multiply the top two numbers

Multiply the top two numbers in the fractions to get the top number in your answer, which is known as the numerator.

Step 4: Multiply the bottom two numbers

Multiple the bottom two numbers in the fractions to get the bottom number in the answer, which is known as the denominator.

TIP: The result in the example is four-sixths.

Step 5: Reduce the final answer

Reduce the answer by dividing both the numerator and the denominator by the greatest common factor, which is the highest number by which both can be divided.

TIP: In the example, divide the numerator and denominator by two, the greatest common factor. The final answer is two-thirds.

Step 6: Write your answer

Add an equal sign and your final, reduced answer at the end of the original problem. Keep practicing, and soon you may be solving tough math puzzles without even needing a pencil and paper.

Did you know? The word fraction comes from the Latin frangere, which means, "to break."

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