Different Ways to Multiply Fractions

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Multiplying fractions is something you can do in a few different ways depending on exactly what it is that you're trying to accomplish. Learn about different ways to multiply fractions with help from an experienced mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Elementary Math
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Marija. I'm a mathematician and today I'm going to show you different ways to multiply fractions. So we'll start with the fraction 2/3 and we're going to multiply that by the fraction 12/5. Okay so when you multiply fractions you multiply straight across, numerator times numerator and denominator times denominator. So 12 times 2 is 24 and 3 times 5 is 15. So the product would be 24/15 but almost always when dealing with fractions you want to reduce when possible. So we're looking for a common factor of 24 and 15, a number that can go into both 24 and 15 is 3. So we're going to divide the numerator and denominator by 3 and when we do that we get 8/5 and we can't simplify it any further so that would be my simplified answer. Now the other way and the way that I would have multiplied this if I had this problem is 2/3 times 12/5. What you do is you look to see if either of the denominators can be divided into one of the numerators. So 3 can't go into 2 but 3 can go into 12. So what you do is you cross out the 3 and you say it goes into 12 4 times and you replace that 12 with a 4. So all I did was 3 goes into 12 4 times and I replaced it with a 4 and now I'm going to go ahead and multiply straight across. So 2 times 4 is 8. This 3 when I cancelled it out actually became a 1, right because what I did was divide by 3 and 3 divided by 3 is 1, 1 times 5 is 5 and now I've arrived at the same exact product that I got before, I just did it in a lot simpler fashion. So when you're multiplying fractions, if you see that one of the denominators goes into the numerator, simplify it first and it will make it easier for you to multiply later. My name is Marija and I just showed you different ways to multiply fractions.

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