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# Why do denominators need to be the same when adding fractions?

Wiki User

2011-09-09 17:28:22

The denominator tells you, in effect, what kind of fraction you have, whether it is halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths, and so forth. You can add a group of thirds to another group of thirds and then find out how many thirds you have in total, but if you try to add thirds to quarters, what do you get? Not thirds, and not quarters, but some mix of the two. What is the sum of 2 apples and 3 Oranges? Five fruit. This doesn't work for numbers, however. The sum of 1/3 and 1/4 is two fractions, but that doesn't tell you anything, you want a specific number. You can get that by converting them both to twelfths. Then you have 4/12 and 3/12 which adds up to 7/12, an actual number.

Wiki User

2011-09-09 17:28:22
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## A number a power of a variable or a product of the two is a monomial while a polynomial is the of monomials

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Q: Why do denominators need to be the same when adding fractions?
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## Why must denominators be the same when adding or subtracting fractions?

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