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### There are 3 Simple Steps to add fractions:

• Step 1: Make sure the bottom numbers (the denominators) are the same
• Step 2: Add the top numbers (the numerators). Put the answer over the the same denominator as in step 1
• Step 3: Simplify the fraction (if needed).

## Example 1:

 1 + 1 4 4

Step 1. The bottom numbers are already the same. Go straight to step 2.

Step 2. Add the top numbers and put the answer over the same denominator:

 1 + 1 = 1 + 1 = 2 4 4 4 4

Step 3. Simplify the fraction:

 2 = 1 4 2

(If you are unsure of the last step see the equivalent fractions page)

## Example 2:

 1 + 1 3 6

Step 1: The bottom numbers are different. We can't add them like this:

 1/3 + 1/6 = ?

So we need to do something to make them have the same denominator.

In this case we can multiply the top and bottom of the first fraction (1/3) by 2, like this:

 × 2
 1 = 2 3 6
 × 2

And now our question looks like this:

 2/6 + 1/6

The bottom numbers (the denominators) are the same, so we can go to step 2.

Step 2: Add the top numbers (the numerators) and put them over the same denominator:

 2/6 + 1/6 = 3/6

Step 3: Simplify the fraction:

3/6 is the same as 1/2:

 2/6 + 1/6 = 3/6 = 1/2

## Example 3:

 1 + 1 3 5

Again, they are different sizes!

 1/3 + 1/5 = ?

But let us try dividing them into smaller sizes that will be the same:

 5/15 + 3/15

By multiplying the top and bottom of the first fraction by 5 we ended up with 5/15 :

 × 5
 1 = 5 3 15
 × 5

And by multiplying the top and bottom of the second fraction by 3 we ended up with 3/15 :

 × 3
 1 = 3 5 15
 × 3

The denominators are now the same, so we can go ahead and add them:

 5/15 + 3/15 = 8/15

## Making the Denominators the Same

In the previous example how did I know to cut them into 1/15ths to make the denominators the same? You can read how to do this using either one of these methods:

They both work, use whichever you prefer!