What are math fractions?
Let’s think of an example to make things clear from the start. Jacob and Sophia share a pizza.
Now consider what is a fraction? It’s part of a 'whole' - for instance, part of Jacob and Sophia's pizza.
It can be expressed
We'll stick to numerator/denominator here but you can use either way - they mean the same thing.
The denominator is the total
number of pieces which make up the 'whole'. The numerator is the number of pieces taken from the 'whole'.
Going back to our example, the fairest and simplest way for Jacob and Sophia to share their pizza would be to slice it straight down the middle and each take a large piece!
The pizza's been divided into two pieces or slices, so the denominator is 2.
Jacob takes one piece or slice of the pizza - the numerator for the fraction of the pizza he takes is therefore 1.
So the fraction of the pizza taken by Jacob is
otherwise known as a half or one half.
As above, the pizza’s been divided into two slices - the denominator is 2.
Sophia also takes one slice of the pizza – so the numerator for the fraction of the pizza she takes is 1.
Therefore the fraction of
pizza taken by Sophia is also
In other words, Jacob and Sophia each take one half of the pizza.
Let's say in this case the friends decide to divide the pizza into 3 equal slices.
Because Sophia’s less hungry, she takes just one slice. The denominator is 3 (because the pizza’s been cut into three) and the numerator is 1 (because Sophia takes one slice). So the fraction of the pizza taken by Sophia is
- a third or one third.
Jacob takes the rest of the pizza, that's two slices. Again the denominator is 3 (remember the pizza’s been cut into three) but the numerator is 2 (because Jacob takes two slices). So the fraction of the pizza taken by Jacob is
- two thirds.
Hopefully from the example above you can see that learning math fractions can be fun - and don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of other worked examples on how to do fractions!
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