What is a fraction?

What is a fraction?

Fractions appear in many math problems, and in the real world. Learning what they mean can be useful in many applications!

Parts of a Fraction

A fraction is a part of a whole number – a whole number is partitioned or divided into equal parts. In a fraction, there are 3 essential parts:

  1. Numerator
  2. Denominator
  3. Dividing Line

The numerator is the number on the top of the dividing line, or to the left. This is the whole number that is being divided by the denominator – the number on the bottom of the dividing line, or to the right. A fraction is a way to show division.

This example fraction shows the structure of a fraction.

For example, if you have the fraction 1/2, you are dividing 1 into 2 equal parts. It is important to remember that the numerator is being divided into equal parts by the denominator, not just any two sections! On the other hand, if you have the fraction 2/3, you are dividing 2 into 3 equal parts because 2 is the numerator, while 3 is the denominator.

How Fractions Work in Real Life

Fractions can be very useful in real life, as we can better understand the concept of how fractions work through studying examples. From the illustration above, we can see how fractions come in handy:

  • If you want to share a burger equally between two people, you can use the fraction 1/2 to divide the whole burger equally into two parts. Each person can now eat half of a burger!
  • Or, if you want to partition a pizza between 4 friends by giving everyone the same amount, the fraction 1/4 can be used to describe this – each person can have a quarter of the pizza by dividing it equally into 4 parts.


Coming soon!