How do you multiply a fraction? This is a common query that is not
only asked by children but even adults as well. By definition, a
fraction is a figure representing a portion of a whole number. The
original fractions were ancient symbols that represented a part of
two, or a part of three, or a part of four and so forth. This later
evolved into fractions consisting of two numbers.
The first number in a fraction is the numerator, which indicates a
number of parts. The denominator is the second figure which represents
the number making up a whole. For instance, the fraction 1/2 indicates
that the numerator 1 makes up the part taken. Meanwhile the
denominator 2 indicates that 2 parts comprise the whole.
Fractions are used for purposes such as representation of ratios and
division. Going back to the example, 1/2 is used in representing the
ratio 1:2 (one is to two) and the division of one by two.
Multiplying Simple Numbers
Multiplying fractions is simple. The numbers are simply multiplied
across, or another way of putting it, is to multiply the numerator
with each other and the denominators with each other. For example, 1/2
x 3/5 is solved by multiplying the number 1 by the number 3, and 2 by
5. The answer would be 3/10.
Multiplying Multiple Fractions
In multiplying multiple fractions, the numerators are first multiplied
with each other, then followed by multiplying the denominators. The
result or product can then be reduced to its lowest terms.
Multiplying Large Numbers
Multiplying fractions is not always as simple as the said example.
There are times when multiplication of fractions involves larger and
more complex numbers. For instance, 20/25 x 5/20. A cursory glance at
the equation would indicate that the numbers can be further reduced to
the lowest terms, with the greatest common factor of 5 applying to all
the numbers.
Thus, reducing the numbers with 5 as the denominator would further
simplify the equation to 4/5 times 1/ 4. The equation can now be
solved using the multiplication rule. Thus, 4 x 1 and 5 x 4 would
result to 4/20, which can then be simplified by getting the greatest
common factor. In this case, the greatest common factor is 4, so 4/20
becomes or is reduced to1/5.
Multiplication With Whole Numbers
How do you multiply a fraction and a whole number? Multiplication of
whole numbers and fractions also uses the same rules in multiplying a
fraction with another fraction. This is due to the fact that whole
numbers can be easily changed into fractions.
For instance, the whole number 7 can be changed to 7/1 as a fraction,
and thus it will be easy to multiply it to another fraction. For
example, when 7 is multiplied by 2/3, the whole number 7 is first
changed into a fraction 7/1, and then multiplied with 2/3. So
following the multiplicaton process, the numerators are multiplied
with each other such as, 7 times 2 is equal to 14. Then the
denominators are multiplied, 1 times 3 is equal to 3, and the product
is 14/3.
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