Multiplying and Dividing Mixed Numbers - dummies

By Mark Zegarelli

There’s no direct method for multiplying and dividing mixed numbers. The only way is to convert the mixed numbers to improper fractions and multiply or divide as usual. Here’s how to multiply or divide mixed numbers.

For example, suppose you want to multiply 1-3/5 by 2-1/3.

  1. Convert all mixed numbers to improper fractions.


  2. Multiply these improper fractions.


  3. If the answer is an improper fraction, convert it back to a mixed number.


    In this case, the answer is already in lowest terms, so you don’t have to reduce it.

As a second example, suppose you want to divide 3-2/3 by 1-4/7.

  1. Convert to improper fractions.


  2. Divide these improper fractions.

    Divide fractions by multiplying the first fraction by the reciprocal of the second:


    In this case, before you multiply, you can cancel out factors of 11 in the numerator and denominator:


  3. Convert the answer to a mixed number.