© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Introduction to :

If both the numerator and denominator have a common factor (i.e., they can both be divided by the same number), you can reduce the fraction by that number. It's fastest to use the greatest common factor of the numerator and denominator.

If you don’t happen to know the GCF, it’s perfectly fine to reduce a fraction over and over until it can't be reduced any further.

For example, let's reduce:  24/36  

reduce by 2

24/36 = 12/18

reduce by 2


reduce by 3

6/9 = 2/3

In the example above, if you had spotted right away that the GCF of the numerator and denominator is 12, you could have solved this in one step.

Fractions in answers almost always should be reduced or simplified.

Reducing Fractions Example 1

Reduce: 5/15

Both the numerator and the denominator can be reduced by 5.

Reducing Fractions Example 2

Reduce: 24/36

The GCF of 24 and 36 is 12, so each can be reduced by 12.

Reducing Fractions Exercise 1


Reducing Fractions Exercise 2

Reduce 17/34

Reducing Fractions Exercise 3

Reduce 15/16

back to top