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Understanding how to multiply fractions is a fundamental skill that opens the door to various mathematical concepts. Whether you’re a student learning the basics or an adult refreshing your math skills, mastering fraction multiplication is essential. In this article, we will guide you through the process step by step, providing examples and exercises along the way. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Fractions

Before we delve into multiplying fractions, let’s quickly review what fractions are and how they are composed. A fraction consists of two parts: the numerator (the number above the line) and the denominator (the number below the line). The numerator represents the number of parts we have, while the denominator represents the total number of equal parts in the whole.

Simplifying Fractions

Before multiplying fractions, it’s helpful to simplify them to their lowest terms. To simplify a fraction, divide both the numerator and the denominator by their greatest common divisor (GCD). This ensures that the fraction is expressed in its simplest form.

Multiplying Fractions

To multiply fractions, follow these simple steps:

  1. Multiply the numerators together to get the new numerator.
  2. Multiply the denominators together to get the new denominator.
  3. Simplify the resulting fraction, if necessary.

Now, let’s explore some examples to solidify our understanding.

Examples

Example 1: Multiplying Proper Fractions

Let’s multiply 2/3 by 3/4.

Step 1: Multiply the numerators: 2 * 3 = 6.

Step 2: Multiply the denominators: 3 * 4 = 12.

Step 3: Simplify the resulting fraction, if necessary. In this case, it’s already in its simplest form.

The product of 2/3 and 3/4 is 6/12.

Example 2: Multiplying Mixed Numbers

Now, let’s multiply 2 and 1/2 by 3 and 3/4.

Step 1: Convert the mixed numbers to improper fractions:

2 and 1/2 = 5/2

3 and 3/4 = 15/4

Step 2: Multiply the numerators: 5 * 15 = 75.

Step 3: Multiply the denominators: 2 * 4 = 8.

Step 4: Simplify the resulting fraction, if necessary. In this case, it simplifies to 75/8.

The product of 2 and 1/2 and 3 and 3/4 is 75/8.

Example 3: Multiplying Fractions with Different Denominators

Let’s multiply 1/3 by 2/5.

Step 1: Multiply the numerators: 1 * 2 = 2.

Step 2: Multiply the denominators: 3 * 5 = 15.

Step 3: Simplify the resulting fraction, if necessary. In this case, it’s already in its simplest form.

The product of 1/3 and 2/5 is 2/15.

Exercises

Now, let’s apply our knowledge to some exercises.

Exercise 1: Multiply the Given Fractions

  1. a) 1/4 * 3/5
  2. b) 2/3 * 4/7
  3. c) 5/8 * ⅔

Exercise 1 Solutions:

  1. a) 1/4 * 3/5 = 3/20
  2. b) 2/3 * 4/7 = 8/21
  3. c) 5/8 * 2/3 = 5/12

Exercise 2: Solve the Word Problem Involving Fraction Multiplication

A recipe calls for 2/3 cup of flour, and you want to make 1 and 1/2 times the recipe. How much flour do you need?

Exercise 2 Solution:

To find out how much flour you will need to make 1 and 1/2 times the recipe, you need to multiply the quantity of flour by 1 and 1/2.

Step 1: Convert the mixed number to an improper fraction: 1 and 1/2 = 3/2.

Step 2: Multiply the numerators: 2 * 3 = 6.

Step 3: Multiply the denominators: 3 * 2 = 6.

Step 4: Simplify the resulting fraction, if necessary. In this case, 6/6 simplifies to 1.

Therefore, you will need 1 cup of flour to make 1 and 1/2 times the recipe.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You now have a solid understanding of how to multiply fractions. Remember, practice is key to mastery. Keep exploring different examples and exercises to further enhance your skills. Fraction multiplication is a foundational concept that will serve you well in various mathematical applications. Keep up the great work, and happy multiplying!