Main content

### Course: 3rd grade > Unit 5

Lesson 5: Fractions and whole numbers# Understand fractions: FAQ

Frequently asked questions about understanding fractions.

**What is a fraction?**

A fraction is a way of representing a part of a whole. The top number is called the numerator, and the bottom number is called the denominator.

The ${\text{numerator}}$ is the number of equal parts being counted.

The ${\text{denominator}}$ is the number of equal parts in one whole.

**What does it mean when the numerator is bigger than the denominator?**

It means that the fraction is bigger than $1$ .

For example, $\frac{{4}}{{3}}$ is greater than $1$ because the number of pieces we are counting, ${4}$ is greater than the number of pieces in the whole, ${3}$ .

**How do we show fractions on a number line?**

We can divide the number line into different parts to show where a fraction falls. For example, if we divide the number line into four equal parts, we can show $\frac{1}{4}$ halfway between $0$ and $\frac{1}{2}$ .

**How can we relate fractions to **$1$ ?

A fraction is $1$ when the numerator is greater than the denominator.

*greater*thanA fraction is $1$ when the numerator is equal to the denominator.

*equal*toA fraction is $1$ when the numerator is less than the denominator.

*less*than**Why do we need to learn about fractions?**

Fractions are used in many different ways in the real world. For example, recipes often call for fractions of ingredients, like $\frac{1}{2}$ a cup of sugar. We also use fractions in measurements, like $\frac{3}{4}$ of an inch.

## Want to join the conversation?

- why do you use fractions in life?(38 votes)
- Because we need to use it in real life all the time!

-- Cents are fractions of a dollar

-- Minutes are fractions of an hour

-- You can relate inches and feets in order to make 12 in = 1 ft or 1 in = 1/12 ft

There are countless exemples of fractions in real life.(26 votes)

- How can you tell if a fraction is less,greater,or = to a half or a whole too.(9 votes)
- If a fraction is a whole then it means that the numerator (the top number) is equal to the denominator (the bottom number).

If the numerator is more than the denominator, it is greater than a whole, and if the numerator is less, it is less than a whole.

The same goes for a half -- for example, 7/14. 7*2 is 14. If the numerator *2 is equal to the denominator, it is exactly half. If the numerator *2 is less than the denominator, it is less than half. And finally, if the numerator *2 is more than the denominator, it is greater than half.(29 votes)

- How big can a fraction get? Is there such thing as 100 equal parts?(14 votes)
- Let's see some exemples to make this clear:

One dollar can be divided in 100 equal parts. In that way, 1 cent is equal to 1/100 of a dollar.

We can do "bigger" than that. For instance, we can divide a meter in 1000 equal parts, and then we will have a millimeter, or 1/1000 of a meter.

A nanosecond is crazy! This is a unit of time equal to one billionth of a second, or 1/1,000,000,000! Some scientists wake up one day and said: "Hey, let's take a second and divide it into one billion equal parts and than call one of that parts a nanosecond just for fun!".

So, we can make a fraction as "big" as we need to. There is no limit to do that.(8 votes)

- Did you know that math is everywhere? I was surprised when I heard that! Even though it is surprising, I LOVE IT!(6 votes)
- when were fractoins created(3 votes)
- About in 1913 October 23rd(5 votes)

- But how do we use fraction(5 votes)
- What do you need fractions for(3 votes)
- Fractions are used in many different ways in the real world. For example, recipes often call for fractions of ingredients, like a cup of sugar.(4 votes)

- how does 9/3 equal 1?(1 vote)
- NO it DOESN'T because it is OVER 1 WHOLE(4 votes)

- I wonder what other stuff in the world your're going to need to have to use fractions for?(3 votes)
- One example is when you are cooking or baking.(3 votes)

- what is the highest fraction?(3 votes)
- I THINK it's a whole(2 votes)