In this topic, we will learn how to simplify mixed numbers. In order to do this, we will first convert the mixed number into an improper fraction. Then we will simplify the improper fraction and when we have it in simplest form, we will change it back to a mixed number. This may be hard to understand for now, but you will get it once you've solved the guided problem below!
Simplifying Mixed Number
Let's say that we have the mixed number 5 4/6. The first step to reducing this mixed number is converting it into an improper fraction. Remember that in order to convert a mixed number into an improper fraction, we have to multiply the whole number by the denominator and then add the product to the numerator:
The answer, 34, becomes our numerator and the denominator stays the same as the denominator of our mixed number.
So now we the improper fraction for 5 4/6 which is 34/6
Now all we have to do is simplify the fraction 34/6
Since 34 and 6 are both even numbers, let's try dividing both by the number 2:
34 divided by 2 17
Since 17/3 isn't divisible by any other number that goes into both of them evenly, 17/3 is our simplified fraction for 34/6.
Now the last step is converting the improper fraction back into a mixed number. In order to do this, we'll just have to divide the numerator by the denominator. So we will have 17/3 which equals 5 remainder 2.
The quotient, 5, becomes your whole number. 5 _/_
The remainder, 2, becomes your numerator. 5 2/_
The denominator, 3, stays the same. 5 2/3