- Topics At a Glance
- Different Types of Numbers
- Natural Numbers
- Whole Numbers
- Integers and Negative Numbers
- Integers and Absolute Value
- Rational Numbers
- Irrational Numbers
- Real Numbers and Imaginary Numbers
- Different Ways to Represent Numbers
- Fractions
- Equivalent Fractions
- Mixed Numbers
- Reducing Fractions
**Comparing Fractions****Least Common Denominator**- Addition and Subtraction of Fractions
- Multiplication of Fractions
- Equivalent Fractions and Multiplication by 1
- Multiplication by Clever Form of 1
- Multiplicative Inverses
- Division of Fractions
- Multiplication and Division with Mixed Numbers
- Decimals
- Converting Fractions into Decimals
- Converting Decimals into Fractions
- Comparing Decimals
- Adding and Subtracting Decimals
- Multiplication and Division by Powers of 10
- Multiplying Decimals
- Dividing Decimals
- Infinite Decimals
- Percents
- Portion of the Whole
- Things to Do with Real Numbers
- Addition and Subtraction of Real Numbers
- Properties of Addition
- Subtraction
- Multiplication
- Division
- Long Division Remainder
- Exponents and Powers - Whole Numbers
- Properties of Exponents
- Prime Factorization
- Order of Operations
- Even and Odd Numbers
- Infinity
- Sequences
- is Irrational
- Counting Rational Numbers
- Counting Real Numbers?
- Counting Irrational Numbers
- In the Real World
- Decimals in Use
- How to Solve a Math Problem
- I Like Abstract Things: Summary

This process of cutting numbers down to size in order to get the pieces we want is referred to as finding the " **lowest (**or ** least) common denominator (LCD).**" Yes, the "L" can stand for either "lowest" or "least," which mean the same thing. It could also stand for "littlest," we suppose, but that doesn't sound very professional.

The LCD is the number of pieces you have to reduce to so that you can easily compare your fractions.

When comparing them, the LCD is the smallest number that's a multiple of both denominators. Another way to say this is that the LCD is the smallest number *divisible by *both denominators. Another way to say this is... oh, you know what, you already have enough ways to say it.

To find the LCD quickly (because you never know when you'll only have 10 seconds to find one so that you can defuse a bomb in time), we use prime factorizations again.

Notice that, to find the LCD, it doesn't matter what the numerators of the fractions are. Usually, after finding the LCD, we replace both fractions with the equivalent versions whose denominator is the LCD. Having common denominators trumps having reduced fractions. If your teacher complains, you tell her we said so.

Example 1

What is the LCD of and ? |

Example 2

What is the LCD of and ? |

Example 3

What is the LCD of and ? |

Example 4

Find the LCD of and . |

Example 5

Find the LCD of and . |

Example 6

Find the LCD of and . |

Example 7

Rewrite and as fractions whose denominator is the LCD of and . |

Exercise 1

Find the LCD of each of the two fractions.

and

Exercise 2

Find the LCD of each of the two fractions.

and

Exercise 3

Find the LCD of each of the two fractions.

and

Exercise 4

Find the LCD of the two fractions.

,

Exercise 5

Find the LCD of the two fractions.

,

Exercise 6

Find the LCD of the two fractions.

, 1

Exercise 7

Find the LCD of the two fractions.

,

Exercise 8

Find the LCD of the two fractions.

,

Exercise 9

For each pair of fractions, (a) find the LCD and (b) rewrite each fraction so that its denominator is the LCD you found in (a).

,

Exercise 10

For each pair of fractions, (a) find the LCD and (b) rewrite each fraction so that its denominator is the LCD you found in (a).

,

Exercise 11

For each pair of fractions, (a) find the LCD and (b) rewrite each fraction so that its denominator is the LCD you found in (a).

,