## How to multiply fractions

This series of 3 minute math is designed as a quick reminder for some of the main topics. I hope they help to provide a focus and a way forward. If you need any more detail please search the site or contact me – always pleased to answer any questions!

All the very best with your studies.

### Transcript from the video:

“Hi and welcome to Three Minute Math. This video is all about multiplying fractions.

So let’s go ahead and look at a particular problem, for example:

Firstly we can multiply the numerators together (the numbers on the top) which gives us:

two times three is six

then we can multiply the denominators, so…

three times four is twelve

this leaves us with

…and we can reduce this by dividing the top and bottom by six, which gives us

That’s fairly straight-forward and perhaps not a bad way to multiply fractions. However, it can be very useful to reduce fractions before we start the multiplication, rather than at the end.

Let me show you how this can be done. If I rewrite the fraction slightly so that it reads:

I’m going to divide the top by two but then I must also then divide the bottom by two, doing this gives me:

Now I’m going to divide the top and bottom by three, which gives me…

So now when I multiply my numbers are a little bit smaller and easier to deal with

the result then is

I still get to the same answer but it just means that I’ve dealt with the reduction a little bit sooner.

While this example is quite straight-forward, handling multiplication in this way can be really useful when you’re dealing with bigger numbers, so let’s take a look at this:

three and three elevenths multiplied by two and eleven twelfths

The first thing we need to do is make sure that we’ve got fractions, or improper fractions – they can also be known as ‘top-heavy’ fractions.

So I convert the first part to

thirty six over eleven

(if you need to know how to do this, please check out some of the other videos)

and I’m going to multiply this by

thirty five over twelve

Before I start I’m going to try to reduce this to make it a little bit easier to deal with.

I could…

multiply thirty six by thirty five

…and divide the result by

eleven times twelve

but that’s going to be hard work so I want to make the numbers as small as I can.

I’ll rewrite this as:

thirty six multiplied by thirty five

divided by

eleven multiplied by twelve

I can’t do anything about the eleven because it’s a prime number and it’s hard to divide by anything , but I can do something with the twelve and the thirty six.

So, if I reduce the twelve by twelve it becomes one

and

reduce the thirty six by twelve and it becomes three

Now I have *slightly* easier numbers to deal with, so…

three times thirty five is one hundred and five

and

eleven times one is eleven

so the answer to this question, as an improper fraction is:

one hundred and five divided by eleven

I’ll need to convert this back into a mixed number and I do know that

ten times eleven is one hundred and ten

I’ve only got one hundred and five to play with so actually it’s going to be

nine full wholes

and the bit that’s left

nine times eleven is ninety nine

…and the bit that’s left is

six elevenths

so the answer to this question is

nine and six elevenths

This is a fairly easy way of reducing, and making sure that the numbers that you are dealing with are a little bit easier.

I hope that’s been helpful and I look forward to seeing you inside the next three minutes.”

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Watch the video on YouTube How to multiply fractions

Chima Amobi says

hi simon the video helped but what do u do if all the number practically

cannot be divided but each other thanks agian for the vid 🙂

Jack Ormiston says

What A Maths Geek!

jacob hendryx says

I need help bad I’m getting a f in math on frashions

Rishi Chandarana says

Can anybody help me work out gradient on a graph. I have a controlled

assessment in GCSE science and I have to draw a graph to show my results

Onyame777 says

My 10 year old preparing for secondary school spotted the error. We love

your site. It’s helping him with his entrance exam prep.

Roderick Jones says

isn’t 2 times 12= 24 + 9 =33 not 35 on second example

Natasha Johnson says

Thanks

Natasha Johnson says

a little bit confusing

Eric A says

Yes, conversion to improper fractions. I couldn’t find the other video you

referred to. Thanks

Simon Deacon says

Please like and leave a comment!

Visit http://www.3minutemaths.co.uk for real maths, tips and techniques.

Eric A says

You didn’t explain very well

Simon Deacon says

TheFuzzyCoder27 says

That helped me alot, especially since i have my math exams tomorrow! Thanks

Simon Deacon says

Simon Deacon says

oops 🙂 Thanks for pointing this out. I’ll repost! All best S

Ian Long says

surely 2 9/12 = 33/12 not 35/12?

Simon Deacon says

A 3 minute quick reminder video on how to multiply fractions. Please search

the channel if you need more details, there’s loads of fraction videos in

the Key stage 2-3 playlist.

I hope it helps and please add a comment below – thanks!. I’d really like

to know if 3 minute videos would be useful and happy to do more 🙂

Visit http://www.3minutemaths.co.uk for real maths, tips and techniques.