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Multiplying Fractions

When you have finished this page, try the Multiplying Fractions Quiz.

Multiplying fractions is different than adding and subtracting fractions in that it is not necessary to have common denominators. There are some other things to be aware of,however.

To multiply two fractions, one simply multiplies the numerator of one fraction by the numerator of the other fraction and then multiplies the denominator of one fraction by the denominator of the other fraction. One should also reduce the final answer if possible.

The following is a very simple multiplication of fractions. Notice that the answer is a smaller fraction than the two fractions that it was multiplied by. This makes sense when one realizes that the problem is to find one half of one half - which is one fourth.

One half times one fourth animation

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One half times or one half of

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One half equals

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One fourth of the whole.

 

To multiply a mixed number, one must convert the mixed number to an improper fraction. This is true if one is multiplying two mixed numbers together or a mixed number and a fraction. The example below shows a mixed number one and one half times one half or one and one half split in half.

Multiplying Mixed numbers animation

One and one half is converted to three halves.

The three halves are then split in half making six fourths

One of those halves is equal to three fourths.

Cross Cancellation:

In order to avoid multiplying large numbers and then reducing them, one can do some "pre=reducing" called cross cancellation. The example below shows how.

 


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Times

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Multiplying Fractions Videos

Fractions Main Page Types of Fractions Equal Fractions Adding Fractions
Subtracting Fractions Multiplying Fractions Dividing Fractions Factors