Q:

How do you divide mixed fractions?

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Quick Answer

To divide mixed fractions, begin by changing each number to an improper fraction. This makes it easier to multiply the reciprocal of the divisor and to simplify when possible, then put the answer in its lowest terms. It is important to remember to multiply, instead of dividing, to come up with the correct answer.

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Full Answer

To change each number to an improper fraction, divide the numerator by the denominator, write down the whole number, then write the remainder, if there is one, above the denominator. An improper fraction is a fraction in which the top number is equal to or larger than the bottom number.

Once a number has been written as an improper fraction, a student can use the KCF method to solve the problem. KCF stands for, 'Keep,' 'Change' and 'Flip.' For example, to solve the improper fraction 8/5 x 7/2, first, multiply the numerators together, then multiply the denominators together. The result is 8/5 x 7/2 becomes 56/10. Simplify this fraction down to 28/5 and divide the denominator into the numerator to find the quotient and the remainder.

Since the greatest common factor in this fraction is 1, the answer to this problem is 5 3/5. At this stage, the answer cannot be simplified further.

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