RHL School

Mathematics Problem Solving
Volume 5, Number 4, September 27, 1999

Like Fractions

The following problems require you to add or subtract fractions. Remember, the denominators (bottom numbers) must be the same, and they don’t change in the answers. You simply add or subtract the numerators (top numbers).


1/3 + 1/3 = 2/3

18/20 - 3/20 = 15/20

Fractions that have the same numbers for denominators are called like fractions.

Also, it’s important to know that one whole thing or set (the number one) can be represented by any fraction where the numerator and denominator are the same.


4/4 = 1

2/2 = 1

10/10 = 1

That means, for example, that 1 - 2/5 = 3/5 (One minus two fifths equals three fifths), because 5/5 - 2/5 = 3/5.


1. Ryan and his mother baked a large blueberry pie. Ryan ate one third of the pie, his mother also ate one third of the pie. What fraction of the pie did they both eat?

2. What fraction of the pie was left?

3. An alien from a far off planet landed her spacecraft on Earth. She had left her planet with a full tank of super interplanetary fuel. She knew that she’d need at least 3/8 of that fuel to return home from Earth. She used half ( 1/2 = 4/8) a tank of fuel to get here. She figured that she would still have _______ of the original supply of fuel when she arrived home.

a. none
b. 4/8
c. 7/8
d. 1/8

4. Miss Joan had her students draw pictures of their homes. Five twenty-thirds of the students used colored pencils, 4/23 used crayons, and the rest of the class used paint. What fraction of the class did not use paint to draw the pictures?

5. What fraction of the class used paint to draw the pictures?



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