Sometimes, we can simplify fractions by dividing the numerator and the denominator by common factors.
The simplest form is a fraction where the numerator and the denominator do not share a common factor.
Reduce Fractions to Lowest Terms
A fraction is in lowest terms when the numerator and denominator have no common factor other than 1.
In order to work with fractions efficiently, it is important to reduce the fraction to lowest terms.
To reduce do the prime factorization. Write the numerator and denominator as a product of prime factors and divide by the common factors.
The new fraction is still equivalent to the original fraction.
Ladder Method for simplify fractions
- Write numerator and denominator on one line
- Draw the L shape
- Divide out common prime numbers (starting with the smallest)
- Simplified fraction is in the bottom
Greatest Common Factor (GCF), is the greatest factor that divides two numbers.
The GCF of 24 and 36 is 2x2x3= 12