 # 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