A fraction is a number written in the form a/b, where a and b are whole numbers. In this fraction, a is the numerator (the “top”) and b is the denominator (the “bottom”). The fraction a/is spoken as “a over b” in general.

The line in the fraction is equivalent to the sign for division, so a ÷ b =a/b.

Students are normally introduced to fractions as parts of a whole. Positive fractions less than one whole are known as proper fractions. Fractions can also be greater than one whole. These are expressed either as improper fractions or mixed numbers:

  • In improper fractions (also but less commonly known as vulgar fractions), the numerator is greater than the denominator e.g. 25/which can be spoken as “twenty-five over seven” or “twenty-five sevenths.”
  • A mixed number consists of a whole number and a proper fraction e.g. 34/which can be spoken as “three and four over seven” or “three and four-sevenths.”

Fractions can be converted into percentages and decimals.

Relevant lessons: