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how to multiply fractions

How to multiply fractions – Simple explanation so you can understand fractions now

In this article, we will show you how to multiply fractions in a few simple steps. Multiplying fractions is a basic skill that all students should learn. It can be tricky at first, but with a little practice, you’ll be able to do it like a pro! Let’s get started.

1. What are fractions and how do they work

Fractions are a way of representing parts of a whole. For example, if we have a pizza and we want to share it with our friends, we can cut it into slices and each person can have one slice. We would say that each person has “one-eighth” of the pizza because there are eight slices in total.

2. How to multiply two fractions together

When we multiply fractions, we simply multiply the numerators (top numbers) and multiply the denominators (bottom numbers).

So, if we want to multiply one-half by three-quarters, we would multiply the top numbers together (one times three is three) and the bottom numbers together (two times four is eight):

how to multiply fractions

This gives us the answer of three-eighths.

And that’s all there is to multiplying fractions!

3. Why do you get a smaller fraction when you multiply two fractions together?

When you multiply two proper fractions together you end up with a smaller fraction. Why is this?

Imagine you had one-quarter of a pizza to share between 2 people. Finding one-half of something is the same as dividing by two.

Now visualize cutting that one-quarter pizza into two pieces. How much of the whole pizza is each piece? That’s right. Each piece is now one-eighth.

multiplying fractions

So when you are finding a fraction of another fraction you are breaking that fraction into smaller pieces hence why your answer is a smaller fraction.

4. Extra tips and tricks to make multiplying fractions easier

  • Cancel on the diagonal or vertically before multiplying. This means you will have smaller numbers to simplify after multiplying the numerators and denominators.
multiply fractions by cancelling first
  • A whole number can be written as a fraction with a denominator of one.
multiplying a fraction by a whole number
  • Change a mixed number to an improper fraction before multiplying.
how to multiply mixed numbers

5. Common misconceptions and errors when multiplying fractions

Some students like to multiply a whole number by both the numerator and the denominator. This is incorrect.


Some students cancel horizontally. This is not right.

misconceptions when multiplying fractions

Some students cross multiply. This is incorrect.

6. The importance of mastering multiplication skills

Multiplication skills are important for many reasons. In everyday life, we use multiplication for things like cooking and shopping. We also use it in more advanced Math concepts like Algebra and Calculus. So it’s important to master this skill now so that you can be successful in the future!

We hope this article has helped you understand how to multiply fractions. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time! If you’re still having trouble, there are plenty of online math tutors to help you master this skill. Thanks for reading and good luck!