Mathematic

# Simplifying Fractions

Simplifying Fractions

Fractions may have numerators and denominators that are composite numbers (numbers that have more factors than 1 and itself). Simplifying (or reducing) fractions means to make the fraction as simple as possible.

How to simplify a fraction:

• Find a common factor of the numerator and denominator. A common factor is a number that will divide into both numbers evenly. Two is a common factor of 4 and 14.
• Divide both the numerator and denominator by the common factor.
• Repeat this process until there are no more common factors.
• The fraction is simplified when no more common factors exist.

Steps to simplifying a proper fraction: Example: 12/20

Step 1: Determine the factors of the numerator. The factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12.

Step 2: Determine the factors of the denominator. The factors of 20 are: 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20.

Step 3: Find the greatest common factor. The greatest common factor is 4

Step 4: Divide both the numerator and the denominator by the greatest common factor. 12 divided by 4 is 3. 20 divided 4 is 5.