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Algebra for Kids2 chapters | 6 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Nola Bridgens*

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

It might look intimidating to multiply fractions, but this lesson will break it down into four easy-to-follow steps. We will also discuss important rules to remember when multiplying negatives.

While multiplying negative fractions may give a negative connotation, it is actually quite simple and can come in handy often. Let's learn how to multiply negative fractions. I'm positive we will have fun.

As long as you pay attention to the sign of the fractions you are multiplying and follow these rules, you will be multiplying negative fractions like a pro in no time!

If both fractions have the **same signs**, either both positive or both negative, the answer will be positive.

If both fractions have **different signs**, one positive and one negative, the answer will be negative.

We will explore examples of these rules in the following sections.

Here are the four steps to multiply negative fractions. Let's use the following problem to illustrate the steps.

Remember that the **numerators** are the numbers over the bar in a fraction and the **denominators** are the numbers under the bar in fractions.

Remember, a whole number can be turned into a fraction by simply placing the whole number over 1. For example, the whole number 7 becomes 7/1.

Let's give it a try together. Let's find the product of -2/7 * 3/4

Step 1) When we multiply the numerators (2 * 3) the answer is 6.

Step 2) When we multiply the denominators (7 * 4) the answer is 28.

Step 3) The new fraction is 6/28. Both numbers are divisible by 2 and can be simplified to 3/14.

Step 4) The fractions have different signs, since one is positive and one is negative, so the answer is negative.

The product of -2/7 * 3/4 = -3/14.

Let's try a couple more. Feel free to grab a piece of paper and pencil and try the following problems on your own before looking at the solution.

Solve: -3/4 * 2/3

Step 1) Multiply the numerators: 3 * 2 = 6

Step 2) Multiply the denominators: 4 * 3 = 12

Step 3) Simplify 6/12 (both are divisible by 6) to 1/2

Step 4) The signs are different, so the answer is negative.

The answer is -1/2.

Solve: -1/2 * 3/4

Step 1) Multiply the numerators: 1 * 3 = 3

Step 2) Multiply the denominators: 2 * 4 = 8

Step 3) 3/8 is already in simplest form

Step 4) The signs are different, so the answer is negative.

So -1/2 * 3/4 = -3/8.

When multiplying fractions, remember that if the fractions have the same sign, the answer is positive, and if the fractions have different signs, the answer is negative. Also remember that multiplying negative fractions consists of four easy-to-follow steps, and that is certainly something to be positive about!

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Algebra for Kids2 chapters | 6 lessons

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