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### Fraction Multiplication

```
Date: 7/22/96 at 11:2:34
From: tstorer
Subject: Fractional Multiplication

Dear Dr.Math,

I am having trouble solving this problem:

"Write the simplest fractional numeral for each of the following:"

a)      -3   .   1
--      --  = ?
4       2

I have several sums like this to do, and I don't understand the
meaning of the dot between the two fractions. Can you help?

Thanks,
Erin Storer
```

```
Date: 7/22/96 at 11:47:23
From: Doctor Paul
Subject: Fractional Multiplication

The dot means that you have to multiply the two numbers together.

In higher math a dot is often used to replace the traditional 'x' as
a symbol for multiplication because the variable x (a very common
variable) and the symbol 'x' can get confusing when used in
conjunction.  The '*' symbol can also represent multiplication.

-3       1
--  .   -- = ?
4       2

When multiplying fractions, just multiply across:

(-3 x 1)   -3
-------- = --
(4 x 2)     8

this is in lowest terms (it will not reduce) so that's your final

-Doctor Paul,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Fractions

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