Once you're done reducing fractions, you can reuse and recycle them, too.
|Fractions and Decimals||Fractions|
Well… reduce them, anyway. Okay, so reducing fractions may not save the
environment, but it will make your life easier. But how do we reduce a fraction?
In this sense, “reduce” is simply another word for “simplify.”
Say we are given the fraction twenty-four thirty-sixths.
Hopefully we’re not following a recipe, because we might want to buy ourselves a new
cookbook. Basically, we want to find the “equivalent
fraction” with the smallest numbers, so it’s easier for us to wrap our head around
it. Equivalent fractions are fractions that are
exactly equal to one another. For example, three-fourths and six-eighths
are equivalent fractions. If we give you three-fourths of a dollar,
we’d be giving you seventy-five cents. If we give you six-eighths of a dollar, we’d
still be giving you seventy-five cents. Just don’t spend it all in one place
Well, back to our original fraction – twenty-four thirty-sixths.
If we divide both our numerator and denominator in half, we get twelve-eighteenths.
Because we are doing the same thing to the top and bottom, we wind up with an equivalent
fraction. Chop it in half again, and we get six-ninths.
We can no longer divide evenly by two, but we CAN divide by three…
Now that both our numerator and denominator are prime numbers, our reducing days are behind
Looks like the most reduced version of our original fraction is two-thirds.
If you had realized from the beginning that the greatest common factor of 24 and 36 is
…you could have saved yourself a couple of steps.
But you’ll get the hang of it the more you practice.
And we know you’ll practice plenty, because the world’s fractions are counting on you.
Give a hoot. Don’t pollute. Reduce a fraction today.