# How to Add Fractions

## Adding Fractions

Imagine you wanted to add ^{1}/_{5} (one-fifth) and ^{3}/_{5} (three-fifths).

## How to Add Fractions

It is easy to add fractions when the bottom numbers (called the denominators) are the same.

It is slightly trickier to add fractions when the bottom numbers are different.

## A Real Example of How to Add Fractions with the Same Denominator

### Question

Add the fractions below.

### Step-by-Step:

# 1

Add the top numbers (called the numerators) of both fractions.

1 + 3 = 4

Place the answer above their common denominator.

# 2

Simplify the fraction if possible. (The fraction in our example is already as simple as possible).

### Answer:

^{1}/_{5} (one-fifth) plus ^{3}/_{5} (three-fifths) equals ^{4}/_{5} (four-fifths).

^{1}/_{5} + ^{3}/_{5} = ^{4}/_{5}

## How to Add Fractions with Different Denominators

### Question

Add the fractions below.

In this example, the bottom numbers (the denominators) are different. Before our fractions can be added, we must make the denominators the same. In other words, we must find a **common denominator** for both fractions.

The common denominator can be found using one of the methods below: