A Guide to Fractions

When two whole numbers are defined in terms of ratio then they are also called fraction. A fraction is also said to be formed when a whole number is divided by another whole number. A fraction usually consists of two parts, one is numerator and the other is denominator.  The upper part of the fraction is called the numerator or the dividend of the fraction, whereas the denominator is the lower part of the fraction and is called the divisor of the fraction.

Various Types of Fractions

Fractions are also distinguished by various characteristics. Some of the different types of fractions are proper fractions, improper fractions, mixed fractions.

Proper fractions – Proper fractions are those that have a larger denominator than a numerator. Therefore, the value of a proper fraction is always less than one. For instance in the fraction 5/9, 5 is the numerator and 9 is the denominator and hence if you try to divide 5 by 9 then the result will always be less than 1.

Improper fractions – Improper fractions are those that have a greater numerator than denominator or both of them are same. As a result, improper fractions are always greater than 1 or exactly equal to 1. For instance in a fraction 8/5, 8 is the numerator and 5 is the denominator and if you divide 8 by 5 you will always get a result more than 1. Hence, this proves the fact that improper fractions are more than 1. Another improper fraction 5/5 gives a value, which is exactly 1.

Mixed fractions – A mixed fraction is actually a mix of whole number and a fraction. For instance, if you have a full share of an item and another 3/5th share of another, then the total share you have is 1 3/5. This is a mixed fraction.

You can also convert a mixed fraction into an improper fraction by multiplying the denominator of the fraction with the whole number and then adding the numerator to the product. The result will be the numerator and the denominator will remain the same to make an improper fraction. If you take the above-mentioned fraction as a mixed fraction, then you can get the improper fraction by multiplying the denominator 5 with the whole number 1 first, it will give you a value of 5. Then you need to add the numerator that is 3 with the product that is 5. Ultimately, it will give a result of 8 as the numerator and the denominator will be the same that is 5. Thus, improper fraction will be 8/5.

Equivalent fraction – Fractions that gives the same value is called equivalent fraction. For instance, there are two fractions 4/8 and 8/16. The value of the two fractions is ½ and therefore, the two fractions are called equivalent fractions.

Like fractions – Fractions that have the same denominators are called like fractions. Suppose there are two fractions 2/7 and 5/7. Both have the same denominator and thus they are called like fractions.

Unlike fractions – Fractions that have different denominators are called unlike fractions. Two fractions 7/13 and 5/17 have different denominators and are thus called unlike fractions.