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Dividing Fractions
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In order to divide fractions, first we have to learn about inverses. Here are some math terms that will help you to understand this lesson better:

• Reciprocal or Inverse: When the values in the numerator and denominator switch places. $$\displaystyle \frac{3}{4}$$ $$\overrightarrow{}$$ $$\dfrac{4}{3}$$

The following video will explain what makes inverses special:

Multiplicative Inverse or Reciprocal of a Fraction

How do you divide by a fraction? The next video will show how to use the multiplicative inverse (reciprocal) to divide by a fraction. It will also demonstrate why it works.

Dividing Fractions

The following video has more examples of dividing by fractions:

Examples of Dividing Fractions

Dividing by a fraction is the same as multiplying by the inverse of the second fraction. Remember that this does not work if you try using the inverse of the first fraction. Also remember that any whole number can be written as a fraction and then used in the same way.
$$\displaystyle 5 = \frac{5}{1}$$

### Practice Problems

Divide the following fractions:
1. $$\displaystyle \frac{1}{4}\div\frac{1}{3}=$$ (
Solution
Solution: $$\displaystyle \frac{1}{4}\div \frac{1}{3}=\frac{1}{4}\cdot \frac{3}{1}=\frac{3}{4}$$
Details:

Step 1: Find the multiplicative inverse (or reciprocal) of the fraction that follows the division symbol:

We are dividing $$\displaystyle \frac{1}{4}$$ by $$\dfrac{1}{3}$$ so we need to find the reciprocal of $$\dfrac{1}{3}$$. To find the reciprocal, we simply “flip” $$\dfrac{1}{3}$$. The reciprocal of $$\dfrac{1}{3}$$ is $$\dfrac{3}{1}$$.

Step 2: Multiply the first fraction by the reciprocal of the second fraction:

Step 3: Multiply straight across:
$$\displaystyle \frac{1}{4}\cdot\frac{3}{1}=\frac{1\cdot3}{4\cdot1}=\frac{3}{4}$$

So our answer is $$\dfrac{3}{4}$$.

Note: Many students use “Keep, Change, Flip” to remember how to divide fractions. Keep the first fraction the same, Change the operation from division to multiplication, Flip the second fraction:
)
2. $$\displaystyle \frac{1}{4}\div\frac{5}{8}=$$ (
Solution
Solution: $$\displaystyle \frac{1}{4}\div \frac{5}{8}=\frac{1}{4}\cdot \frac{8}{5}=\frac{8}{20}=\frac{2}{5}$$
Details:

Step 1: Find the multiplicative inverse (or reciprocal) of the fraction that follows the division symbol:

We are dividing $$\dfrac{1}{4}$$ by $$\dfrac{5}{8}$$ so we need to find the reciprocal of $$\dfrac{5}{8}$$. To find the reciprocal, we simply “flip” $$\dfrac{5}{8}$$. The reciprocal of $$\dfrac{5}{8}$$ is $$\dfrac{8}{5}$$.

Step 2: Multiply the first fraction by the reciprocal of the second fraction:

Step 3: Multiply straight across:
$$\displaystyle \frac{1}{4}\cdot\frac{8}{5}=\frac{1\cdot8}{4\cdot5}=\frac{8}{20}$$

Step 4: Simplify if possible:
$$\dfrac{8}{20}$$ can be simplified. To simplify it, we need to divide the numerator and denominator by any common factors. Both 8 and 20 are divisible by 4. We divide both by 4:
$$\displaystyle \frac{8\div4}{20\div4}=\frac{2}{5}$$

So our answer is $$\dfrac{2}{5}$$.

Note: Many students use “Keep, Change, Flip” to remember how to divide fractions. Keep the first fraction the same, Change the operation from division to multiplication, Flip the second fraction:
)
3. $$\displaystyle \frac{3}{7}\div\frac{2}{5}=$$ (
Solution
Solution:
$$\displaystyle \frac{3}{7}\div \frac{2}{5}=\frac{3}{7}\cdot \frac{5}{2}=\frac{15}{14}$$
)
4. $$\displaystyle \frac{3}{4}\div\frac{9}{2}=$$ (
Video Solution
Solution: $$\displaystyle \frac{3}{4}\div \frac{9}{2}=\frac{1}{6}$$
Details:

(Video Source | Transcript)
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5. $$\displaystyle \frac{3}{4}\div6=$$ (
Solution
Solution:
$$\displaystyle \frac{3}{4}\div 6=\frac{3}{4}\div\frac{6}{1}=\frac{3}{4}\cdot\frac{1}{6}=\frac{1}{8}$$
)
6. $$\displaystyle 6\div\frac{3}{2}=$$ (
Video Solution
Solution: $$\displaystyle 6\div \frac{3}{2}=4$$
Details:

(Video Source | Transcript)
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