Learn How to Subtract Fractions

Fractions! Your favorite numbers to work with, right? Yes, I know the answer to that is "WRONG!" Most everyone hates working with fractions and along with many other people, you are here to learn how to subtract fractions.

In this lesson we will focus on subtracting fractions with like (or common) denominators. These are the easiest types of fractions to subtract because the denominators are the same. In lessons that follow this one, we will also discover how to subtract fractions with unlike denominators and how to regroup when working with fractions.

Subtracting fractions with like denominators is very similar to adding fractions with like denominators. As long as the denominators are the same, we will subtract the numerators. Let's take a look....

Example 1

In this example, we will subtract fractions that are written horizontally.

subtracting fractions

Not so bad, right? Yes, it is pretty easy when the denominators are already set equal to each other. I would like to show you another example that is set up vertically. Same method is used, it just looks a little different.

Example 2

subtracting fractions

Here's a simple rule to follow when subtracting fractions with common denominators.

subtractions of fractions

You may be wondering if this same process works with improper fractions. YES! As long as the denominators are the same, it does not matter if the fractions are proper fractions or improper fractions. Take a look at the next example.


subtracting fractions with like denominators

Hopefully you've found that subtracting fractions isn't so bad! If your denominators are the same, the process is very easy - simply subtract the numerators!

Now you are ready to tackle subtracting fractions with different denominators!

More Pre-Algebra Fraction Lessons


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