Fraction calculator



This fraction calculator performs all fraction operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and evaluates expressions with fractions. It also shows detailed step-by-step informations.

The result:

-5 3/4 - 3 1/2 = -37/4 = -9 1/4 = -9.25

The spelled result in words is minus thirty-seven quarters (or minus nine and one quarter).

How do we solve fractions step by step?

  1. Conversion a mixed number 5 3/4 to a improper fraction: 5 3/4 = 5 3/4 = 5 · 4 + 3/4 = 20 + 3/4 = 23/4

    To find a new numerator:
    a) Multiply the whole number 5 by the denominator 4. Whole number 5 equally 5 * 4/4 = 20/4
    b) Add the answer from the previous step 20 to the numerator 3. New numerator is 20 + 3 = 23
    c) Write a previous answer (new numerator 23) over the denominator 4.

    Five and three quarters is twenty-three quarters.
  2. Unary minus: -23/4 = -23/4
  3. Conversion a mixed number 3 1/2 to a improper fraction: 3 1/2 = 3 1/2 = 3 · 2 + 1/2 = 6 + 1/2 = 7/2

    To find a new numerator:
    a) Multiply the whole number 3 by the denominator 2. Whole number 3 equally 3 * 2/2 = 6/2
    b) Add the answer from the previous step 6 to the numerator 1. New numerator is 6 + 1 = 7
    c) Write a previous answer (new numerator 7) over the denominator 2.

    Three and one half is seven halfs.
  4. Subtract: the result of step No. 2 - 7/2 = -23/4 - 7/2 = -23/4 - 7 · 2/2 · 2 = -23/4 - 14/4 = -23 - 14/4 = -37/4
    It is suitable to adjust both fractions to a common (equal, identical) denominator for adding, subtracting, and comparing fractions. The common denominator you can calculate as the least common multiple of both denominators - LCM(4, 2) = 4. It is enough to find the common denominator (not necessarily the lowest) by multiplying the denominators: 4 × 2 = 8. In the following intermediate step, it cannot further simplify the fraction result by canceling.
    In other words - minus twenty-three quarters minus seven halfs is minus thirty-seven quarters.

Rules for expressions with fractions:

Fractions - use a forward slash to divide the numerator by the denominator, i.e., for five-hundredths, enter 5/100. If you use mixed numbers, leave a space between the whole and fraction parts.

Mixed numerals (mixed numbers or fractions) keep one space between the integer and
fraction and use a forward slash to input fractions i.e., 1 2/3 . An example of a negative mixed fraction: -5 1/2.
Because slash is both sign for fraction line and division, use a colon (:) as the operator of division fractions i.e., 1/2 : 1/3.
Decimals (decimal numbers) enter with a decimal point . and they are automatically converted to fractions - i.e. 1.45.


Math Symbols


SymbolSymbol nameSymbol MeaningExample
+plus signaddition 1/2 + 1/3
-minus signsubtraction 1 1/2 - 2/3
*asteriskmultiplication 2/3 * 3/4
×times signmultiplication 2/3 × 5/6
:division signdivision 1/2 : 3
/division slashdivision 1/3 / 5
:coloncomplex fraction 1/2 : 1/3
^caretexponentiation / power 1/4^3
()parenthesescalculate expression inside first-3/5 - (-1/4)

The calculator follows well-known rules for the order of operations. The most common mnemonics for remembering this order of operations are:
PEMDAS - Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.
BEDMAS - Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction
BODMAS - Brackets, Of or Order, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction.
GEMDAS - Grouping Symbols - brackets (){}, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.
MDAS - Multiplication and Division have the same precedence over Addition and Subtraction. The MDAS rule is the order of operations part of the PEMDAS rule.
Be careful; always do multiplication and division before addition and subtraction. Some operators (+ and -) and (* and /) have the same priority and must be evaluated from left to right.


Last Modified: July 9, 2024