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Subtracting Mixed Numbers-Regrouping Method

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Middle School Math

When should you regroup or borrow when subtracting mixed numbers ?

Keywords: Subtracting mixed numberss  | Regrouping| Borrowing |  | Numbers| | Subtraction | Subtracting mixed numbers with unlike denominators |
When subtracting mixed numbers you can regroup by borrowing from the whole number when the top fraction is less than the bottom fraction.

Step 1. Find a common denominator if the denominators are unlike. 

Step 2. If the top fraction is smaller than the bottom fraction you need to regroup (borrow).

Step 3. Take one away from the whole number, then add the denominator to the numerator to get your new numerator.

For example 4 1/3 – 2 2/3 becomes 3 4/3 – 2 2/3 after regrouping.

If you're subtracting from a whole number from a mixed number, regrouping will help.

Take one away from the whole number, use the same denominator
of the bottom fraction. 

This number will also be your numerator because a number over itself equals one whole.

For example:  17 – 5 1/6 
After regrouping you will have 16 6/6 – 5 1/6