# Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Are you trying to plow through that fractions unit, but feeling
frustrated because you still can't figure out the concept of subtracting
fractions with unlike denominators?

If so, you are not alone. My
statistics show that more people seek help with fractions than any other
math concept.

The good news is, you can wave goodbye to your frustrations!

I am
going to walk you step-by-step through several examples and by the end
you will feel confident with subtracting fractions with different
denominators. I promise!

Let's take a look at Example 1.

## Example 1 - Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Not too bad, right? In that example one of the fractions happened to
have a denominator that was the least common denominator.

Notice how
once the denominators are the same, all we need to do is subtract the
numerators.

## Steps for Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators

1. Identify the **least common denominator** by finding the least common multiple for the denominators.

2. Write **equivalent fractions** (making sure that each equivalent fraction contains the least common denominator (LCM))

3. **Subtract the numerators of the equivalent fractions** that you wrote in step 2. (The denominators should now be the same.)

4. **Simplify** if necessary.

Jot those 4 steps down if you are having trouble remembering the steps for subtracting fractions.

Let's take a look at another example. This time, neither denominator
is the least common denominator. I will also demonstrate how to
subtract fractions that are written vertically.

## Example 2 - Subtracting Fractions Vertically

Will you work with integers (positive and negative numbers) when working with fractions?

Yes, absolutely! Let's take a look!

## Example 3 - Can you have a negative fraction?

So, do you feel more confident with subtracting fractions with
different denominators? I hope so! You may be ready to start adding or
subtracting mixed numbers.

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