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### Course: 7th grade (Illustrative Mathematics)>Unit 6

Lesson 10: Lesson 18: Subtraction with equivalent expressions

# Adding and subtracting fractions with negatives

Use the properties of addition to strategically add and subtract fractions with negatives and unlike denominators. We can rewrite the subtraction as adding the opposite so that the addition properties will apply. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• I don’t get this, help!
(4 votes)
• Basically, we're trying to find out 3/7 - (-7/3)- 11/3
Something minus a negative is basically an addition problem. Ex. 2 - (-2) = 2+2=4.
He changed the minus negative to a plus.
3/7 + 7/3 - 11/3
He then turned it into this.
3/7 + 7+-11/3. The denominator will stay the same.
He then evaluated the problem.
Now we have 3/7 + -4/3
He then found the LCM, 21.
?/21 + ?/21
He evaluated the problem again.
9/21 + -28/21

Therefore,
3/7 - (-7/3)- 11/3 = -19/21

Hope this helped! Have a great rest of your day!
(27 votes)
• 2024 new year same me!!
(9 votes)
• I am in 6 th grade and I am trying out for AGS 2 next year
Wish me Luck!
(4 votes)
• Wish You Luck!
(2 votes)
• I'm not a Sheldon cooper,I give up I'm never using khan
(3 votes)
• I understand the positive*positive thing but why are we making all the signs vice versa what is the use
(1 vote)
• Multiplying different signs make negative and same signs make positive. Unless you multiply with 0 then you'll end up with nothing
(4 votes)
• what if there is a positive then a negitive then more and so on with the pattern
(2 votes)
• Just group the together.

If I had:

-1/2 + 1/4 - 1/2 + 1/4
Group the positive and negative values together.
1/4 + 1/4 - 1/2 - 1/2
Then go from left to right.
1/4 + 1/4 = 2/4 = 1/2

1/2 - 1/2 = 0

0 - 1/2 = -1/2

I hope this helps!
(2 votes)
• this doesnt make sense at all. how did he get 21?
im so confused
(2 votes)
• how did you get the 11 from
(2 votes)
• 11 was always part of the original problem.
(1 vote)
• ඞඞඞ i don't understand this
(2 votes)
• Im confused! I need help! It doesn't make sense!
(2 votes)

## Video transcript

- [Instructor] Let's say we wanted to figure out what 3/7 minus negative 7/3 minus 11/3 is. Pause this video and see if you can have a go at it before we do it together. All right? Now let's work on this together. And you might be tempted to deal with the negative 7/3 and the 11/3 first because they already have a common denominator. But you have to realize that subtraction, you can't use the associative property. It's not the this, for example which is what you would typically do first is not the same thing as this right over here. So you have to be very, very, very careful. But what we could do is rewrite this, instead of saying, minus something, minus something else we could rewrite it in terms of addition. What do I mean by that? Well, if I have 3/7, I'll start with that. Subtracting something is the same thing as adding that something's opposite. So subtracting negative 7/3 is the same thing as adding the opposite of negative 7/3 which is just positive 7/3. And subtracting 11/3 is the same thing as adding the opposite of 11/3 which is negative 11/3. Now addition, you can use the associative property, you could add these two first or you could add these two first. And I like adding these two first because they have the same denominator. So if I have 7/3 plus negative 11/3, what is that going to get me? Well, we have a common denominator. We could rewrite it like this. 3/7 plus common denominator of 3. We could write 7 plus negative 11 in the numerator. And so 7 plus negative 11 is the same thing as 7 minus 11. Because subtracting something's the same thing as adding its opposite. So if we're adding negative 11, same thing as subtracting 11. So 7 plus negative 11, you might, we could get a number line out, but hopefully you've gotten some practice now. That is going to be negative 4. That is negative 4. And so now we have 3/7 plus negative 4/3. And so now we definitely need to find a common denominator. So let me rewrite this. This is equal to 3/7 plus, lemme write this, plus negative 4. Actually yeah, this is fine plus negative 4/3. Or I could write this as even negative 4/3, either way. But if we wanna have a common denominator, it looks like 21 is going to be the least common multiple of 7 and 3. So let's rewrite each of these as something over 21, 3/7. To go from 7 to 21, you multiply by 3. So 3 times 3 is 9. And then to go from 3 to 21, we multiply by 7. So if we have negative 4 times 7, that is negative 28. And so this is going to be equal to 9 plus negative 28/21, which is, this is the same thing as 9 minus 28/21, 'cause subtracting a number is the same thing as adding its opposite. And so this gets us, let's see if 9 minus 9 is 0 and then we're gonna have 19 more to go below 0. So this is negative 19/21 or we could write that as negative 19/21. And we are done.