Maths

Fractions

Fractions are often seen by many people to be hard, but like any maths they can be very easy and make maths more fun.

FRACTION means part of
If you have a fraction of something you do not have all of it.

Here are some common fractions you should know: = half = quarter = third = fifth = sixth

What do all these fractions mean?

A fraction is in two parts. The top number is called the numerator and the bottom number is called the denominator.
The top number (numerator) is the whole thing that is to be broken up. The bottom number (denominator) is how many equal parts it has been broken into.

For example a half is 1 whole one broken into 2 equal parts.

So its 1 divided by 2

We could write it like this 1 2  which is what we mean when we write a half. Look at the line between 1 and 2 in a half. It is the division sign without the dots top and bottom. = 1 divided by 2

Just to recap a fraction is a part of something and it has 2 parts: numerator on the top and denominator at the bottom.

Numerator
_____________

Denominator

The reason that it is important to realise that 1/2 means one divided by two is because this helps us when we are trying to change a fraction to a decimal

Use a calculator. Put in 1 and then press the divide sign and then put in two

 0.5 this is the decimal of If you don't have a calculator you can do this by hand.

Look at example: This is 1 divided by 2. (If you are unsure about this go to our division page for an explanation)

Step 1            how many 2's are there in 1? We can not do this. so we do the following.

Put 0 on the top and put a 0 in the bottom to make 10 (see below) Now we say 10 divided by 2 = 5

Using the method above try and find the decimal form of the following fractions

 1/2 0.5 1/4 1/5 4/8 3/4

 1/2 0.5 1/4 0.25 1/5 0.2 4/8 0.5 3/4 0.75

Did you notice that 4/8 is the same as 1/2?

This is because 1/2 and 4/8 are equivalent. (we will look at this in greater detail in another session)

 What is the decimal form of  2/4 or and which fraction is it equivalent to?