# Simplifying fractions - Make the numbers smaller

Which is the simpler fraction

Simplify fractions divide top and bottom by:

First 2, then 3, then 4, then 5.........

until you can't go any further.

**NOTE:**

The outcome of each division must be a whole number.

**Example 1**

Simplify the fraction `36/48`

Keep dividing by `2` first

`(36div2)/(48div2)=(18div2)/(24div2)=9/12larr9` won't divide by `2`

Now keep dividing by `3`

`(9div3)/(12div3)=3/4` This won't divide down any further

**Answer:** `36/48` simplified is `3/4`

**Example 2**

Simplify `26/39`

Keep dividing by `2` first

`26/39` won't divide by `2`

Now keep dividing by `3rarr` won't divide by `3`

Now keep dividing by `4rarr` won't divide by `4`

All the way up to

Now keep dividing by `13`

`(26div13)/(39div13)=2/3` This won't divide down any further

**Answer:** `26/39` simplified `=2/3`

**Example 3**

Simplify the fraction `90/144`

Keep dividing by `2` first

`(90div2)/(144div2)=45/72larr9` won't divide by `2` any more.

Now keep dividing by `3`

`(45div3)/(72div3)=(15div3)/(24div3)=5/8` This won't divide down any further

**Answer:** `90/144` simplified is `5/8`

**Example 4**

Simplify `3200/8000`

Take off the obvious `100`

`(3200div100)/(8000div100)=32/80`

Now keep dividing by `2` first

`(32div2)/(80div2)=(16div2)/(40div2)=(8div2)/(20div2)=(4div2)/(10div2)=2/5`

`2/5` won't divide down any further.

**Answer:** `3200/8000` simplified is `2/5`

**Example 5**

Simplify `10/40`

The first number we can divide by is `2`

`(10div2)/(40div2)=5/20larr` won't divide by `2` any more.

This can now be divided by `5`

`(5div5)/(20div5)=1/4` This won't divide down any further.

**Answer:** `10/40` simplified is `1/4`