Free printable and online worksheets to help Grade 5 students practice subtracting unlike fractions or fractions with unlike denominators. The fractions given are fractions with different denominators.
There are two printable worksheets. The first will not require simplification. The second will have differences that may require simplification.
There are some worksheets and fraction word problems for online practice followed by a shortcut method for subtracting fractions quickly.
To subtract unlike fractions, you can follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a common denominator - the least common multiple (LCM) of the denominators of the fractions. This is the smallest number that both denominators can divide into evenly.
Step 2: Convert the fractions to equivalent fractions with the common denominator. To do this, multiply the numerator and denominator of each fraction by the necessary factor to make the denominator match the common denominator found in step 1.
Step 3: Subtract the numerators of the equivalent fractions obtained in step 2. The denominators remain the same.
Step 4: Simplify the resulting fraction, if possible, by finding the greatest common divisor (GCD) of the numerator and denominator, and dividing both by the GCD.
Here’s an example to illustrate the steps:
Example: Subtract 1/4 from 3/7
Step 1: Find a common denominator:
The multiples of 4 are: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, …
The multiples of 7 are: 7, 14, 21, 28, …
The least common multiple (LCM) of 4 and 7 is 28. So, the common denominator is 28.
Step 2: Convert the fractions to equivalent fractions with the common denominator:
1/4 becomes 7/28 (multiplied numerator and denominator by 7)
3/7 becomes 12/28 (multiplied numerator and denominator by 4)
Step 3: Subtract the numerators of the equivalent fractions:
12/28 - 7/28 + = 5/28
Step 4: Simplify the resulting fraction:
The fraction 5/28 is already simplified, as 5 and 28 do not share any common factors other than 1.
So, the difference of 3/7 and 1/4 is 5/28.
Have a look at this video if you need to review how to subtract fractions.
Click on the following worksheet to get a printable pdf document.
Scroll down the page for more Subtract Unlike Fractions Worksheets.
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Add/Subtract unlike denominators
There is a shortcut to subtract unlike fractions.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Identify the unlike fractions you want to subtract. For example, let’s subtract 1/3 from 2/5.
Step 2: Multiply the numerator of the first fraction by the denominator of the second fraction, and vice versa.
2/5 - 1/3 [(2 × 3) - (1 × 5) + ] / (3 × 5)
Step 3: Subtract the results from step 2 in the numerator, and write the common denominator as the denominator.
(6 - 5) / 15
Step 4: Simplify the fraction, if necessary.
So, the difference of 2/5 and 1/3 is 1/15. This shortcut can be useful when when you want to quickly calculate the difference of unlike fractions.
Have a look at this video if you need to review how to subtract fractions the shortcut.
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