# Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators worksheet Contributed by: Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators worksheet. The easiest steps to adding and subtracting fractions are:
Make sure the denominators are the same.
Subtracte or add the numerator and put the answer above the same denominator.
Simplify the fractions, if required.
If the denominators are different, convert them into like fractions by taking the LCM.
1. 2.5 Adding and Subtracting Fractions and Mixed Numbers with
Like Denominators
Learning Objective(s)
1 Add fractions with like denominators.
2 Subtract fractions with like denominators.
3 Add mixed numbers with like denominators.
4 Subtract mixed numbers with like denominators.
5 Solve application problems that require the addition of fractions or mixed numbers.
Fractions are used in many areas of everyday life: recipes, woodworking, rainfall,
timecards, and measurements, to name just a few. Sometimes you have parts of wholes
that you need to combine. Just as you can add whole numbers, you can add fractions
and mixed numbers. Consider, for example, how to determine the monthly rainfall if you
know the daily rainfall in inches. You have to add fractions. Also, consider several
painters who are working to paint a house together with multiple cans of paint. They
might add the fractions of what remains in each can to determine if there is enough paint
to finish the job or if they need to buy more.
Adding Fractions with Like Denominators Objective 1
When the pieces are the same size, they can easily be added. Consider the pictures
3 2
below showing the fractions and .
6 6
3
This picture represents shaded because 3 out of 6 blocks are shaded.
6
2
This picture represents shaded because 2 out of 6 blocks are shaded.
6
3 2
6 6
You can create a new picture showing 5 shaded blocks in a rectangle containing 6
3 2 5
So, + =.
6 6 6
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2. Without drawing rectangles and shading boxes, you can get this answer simply by
adding the numerators, 3 + 2, and keeping the denominator, 6, the same. This
procedure works for adding any fractions that have the same denominator, called like
Example
+
5 5
Since the denominator of each
3 +1 fraction is 5, these fractions have
like denominators.
5
4 write the sum over the
5 denominator, 5.
+ =
5 5 5
Example
+
8 8
3 5 3 + 5 The denominators are alike, so
8 8 8
8
=
8
8
= 1 Simplify the fraction.
8
+ =1
8 8
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3. Example
+ write as a mixed number.
12 12
11 5 11 + 5 The denominators are alike, so
+ =
12 12 12 add the numerators.
16
=
12
16 16 ÷ 4 4 Simplify the fraction.
= =
12 12 ÷ 4 3 16 and 12 have a common factor
of 4.
4 1 Write the improper fraction as a
=1
3 3 mixed number, by dividing:
4 ÷ 3 = 1 with a remainder of 1.
+ 1
=
12 12 3
In the previous example, the fraction was simplified and then converted to a mixed
number. You could just as easily have first converted the improper fraction to a mixed
number and then simplified the fraction in the mixed number. Notice that the same
answer is reached with both methods.
16 4
=1
12 12
4 4 4÷4 1
The fraction = =
can be simplified.
12 12 12 ÷ 4 3
1
But, don’t forget about the 1 that is part of the mixed number! The final answer is 1 .
3
1. Add the numerators (the number in the top of each fraction).
2. Keep the denominator (the bottom number) the same.
3. Simplify to lowest terms.
Self Check A
7 8
10 10
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4. Sometimes subtraction, rather than addition, is required to solve problems that involve
1
fractions. Suppose you are making pancakes and need 4 cups of flour but you only
2
3
have 2 cups. How many additional cups will you have to get to make the pancakes?
4
You can solve this problem by subtracting the mixed numbers.
Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators Objective 2
The most simple fraction subtraction problems are those that have two proper fractions
with a common denominator. That is, each denominator is the same. The process is
just as it is for addition of fractions with like denominators, except you subtract! You
subtract the second numerator from the first and keep the denominator the same.
Imagine that you have a cake with equal-sized pieces. Some of the cake has already
been eaten, so you have a fraction of the cake remaining. You could represent the cake
pieces with the picture below.
The cake is cut into 12 equal pieces to start. Two are eaten, so the remaining cake can
10
be represented with the fraction . If three more pieces of cake are eaten, what
12
10 3
fraction of the cake is left? You can represent that problem with the expression − .
12 12
7
If you subtract 3 pieces, you can see below that of the cake remains.
12
You can solve this problem without the picture by subtracting the numerators and
keeping the denominator the same:
10 3 7
− =
12 12 12
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5. Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators
If the denominators (bottoms) of the fractions are the same, subtract the numerators
(tops) and keep the denominator the same. Remember to simplify the resulting fraction,
if possible.
Example
Problem 6 1 Subtract.

7 7
6 − 1 5 Both fractions have a
=
7 7 denominator of 7, so subtract the
numerators and keep the same
denominator.
− =
7 7 7
Example
Problem 5 2 Subtract. Simplify the
9 9
5 2 3 The fractions have a like denominator, also
− =
9 9 9 known as a common denominator, so
subtract the numerators.
3 ÷ 3 1 Simplify the fraction.
=
9÷3 3
− =
9 9 3
Self Check B
11 7
− Subtract and simplify the answer.
16 16
Just as you can add whole numbers and proper fractions, you can also add mixed
numbers. To add mixed numbers, add the whole numbers together and the fraction parts
of the mixed numbers together and then recombine to express the value as a mixed
number. The steps for adding two mixed numbers are shown in the examples below.
You can keep the whole numbers and the fractions together using a vertical method for
adding mixed numbers as shown below.
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6. Example
2 +3 as a mixed number.
8 8
1 Arrange the mixed numbers vertically
2 so the whole numbers align and the
8
fractions align.
3
+3
8
2
8
3
+3
8
4
5
8
4 1 Simplify the fraction.
5 =5
8 2
2 +3 =5
8 8 2
When adding mixed numbers you may need to regroup if the fractional parts add to
more than one whole.
Example
6 +8 write as a mixed number.
7 7
5 Arrange the mixed numbers vertically
6 so the whole numbers align and the
7
fractions align.
4
+8
7
6
7
4
+8
7
9
14
7
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7. 9 2 Write the improper fraction as a mixed
=1 number.
7 7
2 2 Combine whole numbers and fraction
14 + 1 =15 to write a mixed number.
7 7
6 +8 =15
7 7 7
Self Check C
7 4
3 + 1 Add. Simplify the answer and write as a mixed number.
9 9
Subtracting Mixed Numbers Objective 4
Subtracting mixed numbers works much the same way as adding mixed numbers. To
subtract mixed numbers, subtract the whole number parts of the mixed numbers and
then subtract the fraction parts in the mixed numbers. Finally, combine the whole
Example
Problem 4 1 Subtract. Simplify the
6 −3 answer and write as a
5 5
mixed number.
6 – 3 = 3 Subtract the whole numbers
and subtract the fractions.
4 1 3
− =
5 5 5
3 Combine the fraction and
3
5 the whole number. Make
sure the fraction in the
mixed number is simplified.
6 −3 = 3
5 5 5
Sometimes it might be easier to express the mixed number as an improper fraction first
and then solve. Consider the example below.
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8. Example
Problem 1 2 Subtract. Simplify the
8 −4 answer and write as a
3 3
mixed number.
1 8 ⋅ 3 + 1 24 + 1 25 Write each mixed number
=8 = =
3 3 3 3 as an improper fraction.
2 4 ⋅ 3 + 2 12 + 2 14
4
= = =
3 3 3 3
25 14 11 Since the fractions have a
− = like denominator, subtract
3 3 3
the numerators.
11 2 Write the answer as a
=3 mixed number. Divide 11 by
3 3 3 to get 3 with a remainder
of 2.
8 −4 =3
3 3 3
of 3 32 , you should get 8 31 .
2 2
4 +3
3 3
2 2
4+3+ +
3 3
4
7+
3
1
7 +1
3
1
8
3
Subtracting Mixed Numbers with Regrouping Objective 4
Sometimes when subtracting mixed numbers, the fraction part of the second mixed
number is larger than the fraction part of the first number. Consider the problem:
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9. 1 5 1 5
7 − 3 . The standard procedure would be to subtract the fractions, but − would
6 6 6 6
result in a negative number. You don’t want that!
You can regroup one of the whole numbers from the first number, writing the first mixed
number in a different way:
1 1 1
7 = 7 + = 6 + 1+
6 6 6
6 1 7 7
6+ + =6 + =6
6 6 6 6
Now, you can write an equivalent problem to the original:
7 5
6 −3
6 6
Then, you just subtract like you normally subtract mixed numbers:
6–3=3
7 5 2 1
− = =
6 6 6 3
1
So, the answer is 3 .
3
Example
Problem 1 3 Subtract. Simplify the
7 −3 answer and write as a mixed
4 4
number.
1 1 3
7 = 6 + 1+ Since the second fraction part, , is
4 4 4
4 1 1
6+ + larger than the first fraction part, ,
4 4 4
5 regroup one of the whole numbers and
6+ 4
4 write it as .
5 4
6
4
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10. 1 3
7 −3
4 4 Rewrite the subtraction expression
using the equivalent fractions.
5 3
6 −3
4 4
6 – 3 = 3 Subtract the whole numbers, subtract
5 3 2 the fractions.
− =
4 4 4
2 1 Simplify the fraction
=
4 2
1 Combine the whole number and the
3
2 fraction.
1 3 1
4 4 2
Sometimes a mixed number is subtracted from a whole number. In this case, you can
also rewrite the whole number as a mixed number in order to perform the subtraction.
You use an equivalent mixed number that has the same denominator as the fraction in
the other mixed number.
Example
Problem 2 Subtract. Simplify the answer and
8−4 write as a mixed number.
5
8= 7 + 1 Regroup one from the whole number and
5 5 5
7+ or 7 write it as .
5 5 5
5 2 Rewrite the subtraction expression using
7 −4
5 5 the equivalent fractions.
7 – 4 = 3 Subtract the whole numbers, subtract the
5 2 3 fractions.
− =
5 5 5
3 Combine the whole number and the
3
5 fraction.
8−4 3
=
5 5
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11. Subtracting Mixed Numbers
If the fractional part of the mixed number being subtracted is larger than the fractional
part of the mixed number from which it is being subtracted, or if a mixed number is being
subtracted from a whole number, follow these steps:
1. Subtract 1 from the whole number part of the mixed number being subtracted.
2. Add that 1 to the fraction part to make an improper fraction. For example,
2 3 2 5
7 =6+ + =6 .
3 3 3 3
3. Then, subtract as with any other mixed numbers.
Alternatively, you can change both numbers to improper fractions and then subtract.
Self Check D
1
15 − 13 Subtract. Simplify the answer and write as a mixed number.
4
Adding and Subtracting Fractions to Solve Problems Objective 5
Knowing how to add fractions is useful in a variety of situations. When reading problems,
Example
Problem A stack of pamphlets is placed on top of a book. If the stack of
1 3
pamphlets is 3 inches thick and the book is 5 inches thick,
4 4
how high is the pile?
1 3 Find the total height of the pile by adding the
3 +5
4 4 thicknesses of the stack of pamphlets and the book.
1 3 Group the whole numbers and fractions to make
3+5+ +
8+ +
4 4
1 3 4
+ = = 1 Add fractions.
4 4 4
8+ 1 = 9 Combine whole number and fraction.
Answer The pile is 9 inches high.
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12. Knowing how to subtract fractions and mixed numbers is useful in a variety of situations.
When reading problems, look for key words that indicate that the problem can be solved
using subtraction.
Example
Problem Sherry loves to quilt, and she frequently buys fabric she likes
when she sees it. She purchased 5 yards of blue print fabric
3
and decided to use 2 yards of it in a quilt. How much of the
8
blue print fabric will she have left over after making the quilt?
3 Write an expression using subtraction
5−2
8 to describe the situation.
8 3 Rewrite the whole number as a mixed
4 −2
8 8 number.
8 3 5 Subtract. Check that the mixed
4 −2 =2
8 8 8 number is simplified.
Sherry has 2 yards of blue print fabric left over.
8
the numerators and keeping the denominator the same. Always simplify the answer.
and then recombining them as a mixed number.
When subtracting mixed numbers, if the fraction in the second mixed number is larger
than the fraction in the first mixed number, rewrite the first mixed number by regrouping
one whole as a fraction. Alternatively, rewrite all fractions as improper fractions and then
subtract. This process is also used when subtracting a mixed number from a whole
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13. 2.5 Self Check Solutions
Self Check A
7 8
10 10
7 + 8 15 5 1
= = 1 = 1 .
10 10 10 2
Self Check B
11 7
− Subtract and simplify the answer.
16 16
11 7 11 − 7 4 1
− = = =
16 16 16 16 4
Self Check C
7 4
3 + 1 Add. Simplify the answer and write as a mixed number.
9 9
7 4 11 2
Adding the fractions: + = = 1 . Adding the whole numbers, 3+1 = 4. Combining
9 9 9 9
2 2
these, 4 + 1 5 .
=
9 9
Self Check D
1
15 − 13 Subtract. Simplify the answer and write as a mixed number.
4
4 4
Regrouping, 15 = 14 + 1= 14 + = 14
4 4
1 4 1
15 − 13 = 14 − 13
4 4 4
4 1 3
Subtracting the whole numbers, 14-13 = 1. Subtracting fractions, − =
4 4 4
1 3
15 − 13 1
=
4 4
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