Fractions always show what part you have out of the whole thing:
part
whole
The part can be any amount. The whole always specifies the number of pieces in each whole
thing.
For example, if you have 75 pennies and want to write it as a fractional part of a dollar:
part
whole

= 
75 pennies
100 pennies

(your part)
(one whole dollar)

= 
75
100

= 
3
4

75 pennies is what fractional part of a dollar?
EXPLANATION:
Put the part (the 75 pennies) in the numerator (on top) of the fraction; the number of those SAME units in each WHOLE (dollar) is the denominator (on the bottom). You now have 75/100 (which can be simplified). 75/100 = 3/4 (of a dollar)
Notice that the fraction is always simplified completely (reduced to lowest terms). The part can be more than one whole
thing  divide to change the improper fraction to a mixed number, then simplify (reduce) if possible.
Change 20 feet to yards. There are 3 feet in one yard.
part
whole

= 
20 feet
3 feet

(your part)
(one whole yard)

= 
20
3

= 
6 ^{2}/3

Change (convert) 20 feet to yards.
EXPLANATION:
Put the part (the 20 feet) in the numerator (on top) of the fraction; the number of those SAME units in each WHOLE (yard) is the denominator (on the bottom). Notice that 20 feet is MORE THAN one whole yard; the fraction is "improper" (the numerator top is greater than the denominator). You now have 20/3 (which can be simplified). 20 divided by 3 = 6 2/3 (yards)
Answers to the following problems are also printed at the bottom of the page.
Remember the PART is the number of pieces you're given; the WHOLE is the number of those
pieces in each whole thing:


12 inches in a foot:


ONE WHOLE = 12 inches

a yard equals 36 inches:
 ONE WHOLE = 36 in.

ten dimes in a dollar:
 ONE WHOLE = 10 dimes

100 centimeters = one meter
 ONE WHOLE = 100 cm.

PRACTICE. Reduce fractions and mixed numbers to lowest terms.
ANSWERS:
Sample Problem #1 45 minutes = 3/4 hour
45 minutes out of 60 minutes in one WHOLE hour = 45/60
Sample Problem #2 10 quarters = 2 1/2 dollars
10 quarters is MORE THAN one whole dollar
10/4 (10 divided by 4 quarters per dollar) = 5/2 = 2 1/2 dollars
1) 10/12 = 5/6 ft.
2) 80/36 = 2 2/9 yd.
3) 5/18 yd.
4) 2 1/2 hr.

© 1999 Amby DuncanCarr All rights reserved.
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