Math Antics – Common Denominator LCD

In the last video we learned how to find what I like to call the ‘easiest common denominator’. And personally, I prefer to use that method of getting a common denominator whenever I can because it’s quick and easy to remember. But, I can think of at least two cases where it would be better to use a different method to convert ‘unlike’ fractions into ‘like’ fractions. The first case is when one of the fraction’s bottom numbers is a multiple of the other fraction’s bottom number. And the second case is when your teacher says that you HAVE to use this other method! This new method is called finding the ‘least common denominator’, because it involves using the smallest common denominator we can find instead of just using the product of the bottom numbers like we did in the first method. To find the smallest (or least) common denominator of two fractions, we need to figure out what the smallest (or least) common multiple of the two bottom numbers is. Now in case you’ve forgotten, a ‘multiple’ of a number is just the result of multiplying it by another whole number like 1, 2 or 3. So here’s what we’re gonna do to find the Least Common Denominator (or LCD for short). First we’ll take the two different bottom numbers and start making multiples of each of them. We start with 1 times the numbers… and then 2 times, and then 3 times, and 4 times, and so on… It’s helps to arrange these multiples in a small table, almost like a scoreboard, so that you can keep things organized and easy to find. We’ll stop making multiples as soon as we find an answer that’s the same for both numbers. That answer is called the ‘least common multiple’ and it will become our new common denominator. Once we know what the least common denominator is, we have to figure out which ‘whole fractions’ we will need to multiply our unlike fractions by to get equivalent fractions with that common denominator. The solution is to use the same numbers that resulted in the common multiple. For example if you multiplied by 4 to get the common multiple for the first unlike fraction, then you’ll use 4 over 4 as your ‘whole fraction’. And if you multiplied by 3 to get the common multiple for the second unlike fraction, then you’ll use 3 over 3 as your ‘whole fraction’ for it. Have I lost you yet? It should make a lot more sense after you’ve seen a few examples. Let’s start with this problem: 3 over 8 plus 5 over 24 Step one is to take our two bottom numbers and make multiples of them to see if we can find a common multiple. First let’s multiply them both by 1. That’s easy! …we have 8 and 24. Next we multiply them both by 2. That gives us 16 and 48. I still don’t see anything in common, so let’s multiply them both by 3. 3 times 8 is 24 and 3 times 24 is 72. But look! We have something in common now. We have a ’24’ in each column. We have found the least common multiple of the numbers 8 and 24, and it happens to be 24. That makes sense if you remember your multiplication tables that 3 × 8=24. So now we know we’re gonna use 24 as our common denominator, but what ‘whole fractions’ do we need to get it? The answer lies in our multiples chart. To get our common multiple we had to multiply our 8 by 3, so we’re gonna use the ‘whole fraction’ 3 over 3 for our first fraction. And our common multiple for the 24 was just itself. We multiplied by 1. So we could use the ‘whole fraction’ 1 over 1, but we really don’t need to since multiplying by 1 won’t change anything. We already have a denominator of 24 on that side, se we don’t need to change it. Okay, now we multiply. On top… 3 times 3 gives us 9, and on the bottom, 8 times 3 gives us 24, just like we wanted. Now we have ‘like’ fractions and we can use our simple procedure to add them. We add the top numbers: 9 + 5=14. And we keep the same bottom number: 24 Okay …ready for one more example? Let’s find the LCD for these fractions: 2 over 9 and 7 over 12. Again, let’s start by making a list of multiples for our two bottom numbers to look for a common multiple. 9 times 1 is 9, and 12 times 1 is 12… of course! 9 times 2 is 18, and 12 times 2 is 24 9 times 3 is 27, and 12 times 3 is 36 9 times 4 is 36… Ah ha! We found it! 36 is the least common multiple of 9 and 12, so we’ll use that as our common denominator. Now let’s figure out which ‘whole fractions’ we need to use to make our fractions have that denominator. We’ll use 4 over 4 for our first unlike fraction since 4 times 9 was 36, and we’ll use 3 over 3 for our second unlike fraction because 3 times 12 is 36. There, now when we multiply, we get two new (but equivalent) fraction that have a common denominator. Now we can add them with our simple procedure. On the top: 8 + 21=29. And we keep the same bottom number: 36 So, that’s how you use the least common denominator method. And it’s really not that hard once you get the hang of it. So don’t forget to do the exercises for this video, because the way to really learn math is to do it. Good luck and I’ll see you next time. Learn more at

100 thoughts on “Math Antics – Common Denominator LCD”

  1. i literally got a math ad before this xd
    Thank god this channel existed.
    Otherwise i'd die from a 0 in a math exam

  2. What if denominator and the other denominator dont match but the first denominator matches the second numerator is that possible

  3. I am a straight a student hahahagahahahahhahaahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaahahagahagagagagahahahhahahahaahhhahahahahahhaahahahahahahahhah

  4. I just can't believe this was yearss ago !, I shouldv'e got to this channel a long time ago 🤦‍♀️😂😊

  5. I love this guy because he doesnt wast his time saying PLEASE SUBSCRIBE, GIVE LIKE. Other people just do it for money. This guy want to help others. Thank very much for your hard job.

  6. Omg thank you so much, I’m nearly in tears l!!!! I actually get it after 26 years of struggling to understand fractions! I know I’m gonna pass my Pre nursing exam 😭

  7. I WISH YOU WERE MY TEACHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You explain things so well, if you aren't a teacher already, you NEED to be! You help me and so many others. Thank you for being the best math teacher there can be!

  8. OMG thank you! plz, stay on youtube more, you help so much. When I was little I was like I'm gonna learn math just like that. So I went on your youtube channel and didn't understand a bit of math language you explained. I was confused so I used this program called IXL which helped me too. Now I use IXL and Math Antics for grade 8 and I understand you more than I couldn't in grade 5 and 6. thank you so much. You've helped me learn things my own teacher couldn't explain. 😀

  9. I just found this channel again and now I remember watching this channel when I was in third to fourth grade… wow. It’s been years.

  10. In the sixth grade I never paid attention that much in my math preAp class so when it came close to the end of course exam I would panic every night and cry and I would watch all this guys videos trying to understand things I didn’t understand before and I would cry while watching his videos and my mom would just come in and see my face filled with tears lmao

  11. Really helps me thanks last time i wathces one of your vid i got perfect score thanks helps me a lot 😁😁😁🙂😁🙂👍

  12. Bad idea: stay in math class and have you teacher explain

    Good idea:search the topic on this Chanel and go to the bathroom and here him explain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *