Each fraction can be reduced to itâ€™s simplest form, in which the numerator and denominator are as small as possible. To simplify a fraction you have to first find the greatest common factor of the numerator and denominator. You then have to divide the numerator and denominator by the biggest possible integer: the Greatest Common Factor (GCF).

For example, we have the following fraction:
^{12}⁄_{18}

The numerator (12) and the denominator (18) are both divisible by 6 (so the largest number that goes exactly into both 12 and 18 is 6 and therefore the greatest common factor is 6). Therefore if you divide the numerator and denominator by 6, you can write the fraction as:

^{12}⁄_{6} / ^{18}⁄_{6} = ^{2}⁄_{3}

You can also simplify a fraction in steps. So ^{12}⁄_{18} can also be written as ^{6}⁄_{9} (the numerator and denominator can both be divided by 2). However, both 6 and 9 can also be divided by 3, so you can write ^{6}⁄_{9} as ^{2}⁄_{3}. ^{2}⁄_{3} is the simplest form.

^{12}⁄_{18} = ^{6}⁄_{9} = ^{2}⁄_{3}