# How to Times, Divide & Add Fractions

By Suzanne Akerman
calculator image by leafy from Fotolia.com

A fraction is a number that has two parts, a numerator and a denominator, with a line in between representing division. One half, 3/4 and 25/24 are all fractions. When the number on the top --- the numerator --- is smaller than the number on the bottom --- the denominator --- the fraction is called "proper," which means it is less than 1. When the numerator is the larger of the two numbers, the fraction is improper. Working with fractions can be tricky because each term has two parts, but with a little practice, you can add, multiply and divide fractions easily without a calculator.

## Multiplying Fractions

Line up the two fractions that you want multiplied together horizontally on the page with a multiplication sign in between them. The numerators should be positioned directly across from each other, as should the denominators.

Multiply the numerator of the first fraction by the numerator of the second fraction. Write the product in the numerator position (on top) of your answer.

Multiply the denominator of the first fraction by the denominator of the second fraction. Write the product in the denominator position (on the bottom) of your answer. If you have more than two fractions to multiply together, line them all up and multiply all of the numerators together for the numerator of the answer and multiply all of the denominators together to get the denominator of the answer.

## Dividing Fractions

Line up the fractions you would like to divide with the number you are diving BY in the second position. Do not line up more than two fractions.

Flip the numerator and denominator of the second fraction. For example, if you previously had 2/5, reverse the fraction to be 5/2 or if you had 56/100, switch the numbers to be 100/56. Line up the resulting fraction with the first fraction, which remains unchanged.

Multiply the numerators together and write the product in the numerator of your answer. Multiply the denominators together and write the product in the denominator of your answer. This is your final answer. If you want to divide more than two fractions, you must do them in order, first dividing by one fraction, then dividing the answer you get by the third fraction. Do not line them all up and work across, as you can do with multiplication of fractions.