Carpenters must know how to subtract fractions, especially when measuring and calculating how much material or distance is left. Subtracting fractions is similar to the steps used for adding. First, change mixed numbers (such as 6 1/2 and 3 3/4) to improper fractions (13/2 and 15/4). Next, find the common denominator of the fractions by multiplying each denominator by 1,2,3,4, etc., until you find a common number. Change the fractions to higher terms using the common denominator. Then subtract the numerators of the fractions. Express the answer in lowest terms.
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