How to Subtract Mixed Fractions

By Brenda Sanders
Subtract Mixed Fractions
isolated colorful fraction circles image by davidcrehner from

A mixed fraction is written in the form of a whole number plus a fraction: 5 3/4. 5 is the whole number. 3 is the numerator. 4 is the denominator. It is pronounced as: five and three fourth.\n\nNote: the following steps will only work if the denominators are the same in the original mixed fractions.

How to Subtract Mixed Fractions

Change both mixed fractions into improper fractions by following these steps each time. Multiply the whole number by the denominator. Add the numerator to the product of the whole number and the denominator.

Make the sum the new numerator in your improper fraction.\n\nKeep the denominator the same as in the original mixed fraction.

Subtract the second numerator in the improper fraction from the first numerator in the improper fraction.

Keep the denominator the same.

About the Author

Brenda Sanders is an educator who has taught in many capacities for over 15 years. She recently completed her doctorate in education from George Fox University. Brenda received her MAT from Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach. She has also worked as a proofreader, editor and writer.