Subtracting fractions


Subtracting fractions is easier than you think and it is very similar to adding fractions

Just like adding fractions, there are two important things you need to know:

First, you cannot add the denominators; you can only add the numerators

Second, you can only add the numerator when the denominator is the same for both fractions. Your denominator will stay the same.

Having said that, just like adding fractions, if the denominators are different, you will first find equivalent fractions that give a common denominator for both fractions

Example #1:

5 / 2
 − 
1 / 2
= ?


There is no need to look for a common denominator because they are already the same

So,  
5 / 2
 − 
1 / 2
 = 
5 − 1 / 2
 = 
4 / 2
= 2


Example #2:

7 / 3
 − 
3 / 6
= ?


Here the denominator are not the same, so multiply 3 by 2 to get the same denominator

Remember that we have to multiply 7 by 2 also in order not to change the problem

So,  
7 / 3
 − 
3 / 6
 = 
7 × 2 / 3 × 2
 − 
3 / 6
 = 
14 / 6
 − 
3 / 6
 = 
11 / 6


Example #3:

3 / 5
 − 
2 / 4
= ?


So,  
3 / 5
 − 
2 / 4
 = 
3 × 4 / 5 × 4
 − 
2 × 5 / 4 × 5
 = 
12 / 20
 − 
10 / 20
 = 
2 / 20


5 / 2
 − 
1 / 2
= ?


There is no need to look for a common denominator because they are already the same

So,  
5 / 2
 − 
1 / 2
 = 
5 − 1 / 2
 = 
4 / 2
= 2


Example #2:

7 / 3
 − 
3 / 6
= ?


Here the denominator are not the same, so multiply 3 by 2 to get the same denominator

Remember that we have to multiply 7 by 2 also in order not to change the problem

So,  
7 / 3
 − 
3 / 6
 = 
7 × 2 / 3 × 2
 − 
3 / 6
 = 
14 / 6
 − 
3 / 6
 = 
11 / 6


Example #3:

3 / 5
 − 
2 / 4
= ?


So,  
3 / 5
 − 
2 / 4
 = 
3 × 4 / 5 × 4
 − 
2 × 5 / 4 × 5
 = 
12 / 20
 − 
10 / 20
 = 
2 / 20


Subtracting fractions quiz. See how well you can subtract fractions.




Still struggling with fractions? Get rid of your fears and frustrations once and for all!

Buy my ebook. It offers a thorough coverage of fractions!


Fractions ebook cover



Recent Articles

  1. Fractions - Basic Mathematics

    Apr 02, 19 05:34 PM

    Learn about equivalent, benchmark, multiplying, dividing, adding and subtracting fractions

    Read More

New math lessons

Your email is safe with us. We will only use it to inform you about new math lessons.

            Follow me on Pinterest


Math quizzes

 Recommended

Scientific Notation Quiz

Graphing Slope Quiz

Adding and Subtracting Matrices Quiz  

Factoring Trinomials Quiz 

Solving Absolute Value Equations Quiz  

Order of Operations Quiz

Types of angles quiz


Tough algebra word problems

Tough Algebra Word Problems.

If you can solve these problems with no help, you must be a genius!

Recent Articles

  1. Fractions - Basic Mathematics

    Apr 02, 19 05:34 PM

    Learn about equivalent, benchmark, multiplying, dividing, adding and subtracting fractions

    Read More

K-12 math tests


Everything you need to prepare for an important exam!

K-12 tests, GED math test, basic math tests, geometry tests, algebra tests. 

Real Life Math Skills

Learn about investing money, budgeting your money, paying taxes, mortgage loans, and even the math involved in playing baseball.