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Home > Maths I > Numbers and Money > Basic fractions

Maths I

Basic fractions

Cancelling fractions

Boy thinking about his maths homework.

Sometimes you can divide the top and bottom of a fraction by the same number. This is called cancelling down. It is also called simplifying the fraction. You often have to write a fraction in its simplest terms.

This means that you have to cancel it down until it cannot be canceled down any more.

Question

Write this fraction in its simplest form: 12 \over 16

Answer

Dividing by 4.

You could do this in two stages.

Dividing top and bottom by 2, to get 6 \over 8.

Then dividing the top and bottom by 2 again, to get 3 \over 4.

When you have worked out a fraction question, you should always cancel down the answer.

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