*Last Updated on September 11, 2024.*

Fractions are merely about working with a part of a number. Fractions are breaking whole numbers down into smaller segments or pieces.

Fractions are commonly used in various measurements. Inches are often broken down into 16ths (sixteenths).

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### Video Transcription

Basics of Fractions.

Let’s look at the basics of fractions. A fraction is made of two numbers (integers), one on top of the other and separated by a line. You might also see the fraction written as numbers with a slash between them.

In that case, the number on the left is the “top” and the number on the “bottom” is on the right. The top number is called the numerator and the bottom number is called the denominator.

The top number represents the number of pieces you have and the bottom number represents the number of equal pieces there could be. Sometimes you might have a whole number to the left of the fraction.

When you have those big numbers, the fraction is called a mixed number. A mixed number is a whole number and a fraction.

Examples:

4/9.

You have four parts.

There could be nine equal parts.

4 is the numerator and 9 is the denominator.

3 and 4/9 is a mixed number.

You have 4 parts of a whole object plus 4/9 of another whole object.

There could be nine equal parts of that whole object.

3 is the whole number, 4 is the numerator, and 9 is the denominator.

Parts of a Whole

Fractions are numbers that represent a number of equal sized parts. If you are talking about halves, it means you took an object and broke it into two equal parts. When you work with thirds, there are 3 equal parts. Any object or number can be broken into any number of equal parts. You might have to do a fraction problem with one thousand seventy-thirds.

Finding Common Factors.

Many functions with fractions will have you searching for common factors. You might need to simplify a fraction and turn 6/8 into 3/4. You need to know that 2 is a common factor for the numerator and the denominator.

You might use factors when you add or subtract fractions. Adding the fractions 3/5 and 7/10 is difficult.

But if you multiply the first value by a factor of 2, you wind up with 6/10.

Adding 6/10 to 7/10 is easy. Your answer would be the improper fraction 13/10 or the mixed number 1 and 3/10.

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Factors are natural numbers. that can evenly divide into both the numerator and denominator.

A fraction such as 17/25 does not have any common factors and it cannot be reduced. A fraction such as 16/24 is much different. The numerator and denominator share the factors 2, 4, and 8. If you reduce that fraction, you get 2/3. You divided the top and bottom values by 8. You’ll get used to common factors as you use them more.