The LessonFractions can be divided. Imagine you wanted to divide 1/5 (one-fifth) by 2/3 (two-thirds).
How to Divide Fractions
QuestionDivide the fractions below.
Flip the fraction you after the ÷ sign upside-down (so the top number becomes the bottom number and the bottom number becomes the top number).
Change the ÷ sign to a × sign.
Multiply the bottom numbers (called the denominators) of the fractions together.
5 × 2 = 10
The answer from Step 3 is the numerator of our answer. The answer from Step 4 is the denominator of our answer.
Simplify the fraction if possible. (The fraction in our example is already as simple as possible).
Answer:1/5 (one-fifth) divided by 2/3 (two-thirds) equals 3/10 (three-tenths).
1/5 ÷ 2/3 = 3/10
Lesson SlidesThe slider below gives a real example of how to divide fractions.
Dividing by a Fraction = Multiplying by the Upside-Down FractionDividing by a fraction is equivalent to multiplying by the reciprocal of the fraction (i.e the fraction turned upside-down). For example, to divide by two-thirds:
The operation becomes...
...which is just the same as multiplying fractions.
Flip the Fraction You Are Dividing by - Not IntoWhen dividing one fraction by another, it is very important that the fraction after the ÷ sign is flipped over, not before it. For example, to divide the following fractions:
The ÷ sign must be changed to a × sign. But it would be wrong to flip the first fraction upside-down:
It would be right to flip the second fraction over: