When an object is divided into a number of equal parts then each part is called a fraction. Fractions are rational numbers that are written with a numerator and a denominator. It is a numerical representation (such as ½, ¼, or 3.234) indicating the quotient of two numbers.

You can recognize a fraction by the slash that is written between the two numbers. We have a top number, the numerator, and a bottom number, the denominator. For example, 1/2 is a fraction. You can write it with a slanted slash like we have or you can write the 1 on top of the 2 with the slash between the two numbers. The 1 is the numerator, and the 2 is the denominator.

**Proper and Improper Fractions**

First, we have what we call ‘proper’ and ‘improper’ fractions. Proper fractions are those fractions where the numerator is less than the denominator. An improper fraction is a fraction where the numerator is greater than the denominator. For example, the fraction 7/8 is a proper fraction, where 8/7 is an improper fraction.

**Here are some other important fraction terms to review:**

**Proper fraction:** Numerator is less than the denominator. When the numerator is less than the denominator, we call the expression a proper fraction. These are some examples of proper fractions. Example: 4/3, 2/3 etc.

**Improper fraction:** Numerator is greater than or equal to denominator. An improper fraction occurs when the numerator is greater than or equal to the denominator. These are some examples of improper fractions: 4/3, 5/6 etc.

**Mixed number:** Whole number and a fraction. When an expression consists of a whole number and a proper fraction, we call it a mixed number. Here are some examples of mixed numbers: (3 x 1/3); (5 x 3/5) etc.

**Equivalent fractions:** Fractions that represent the same number. There are many ways to write a fraction of a whole. Fractions that represent the same number are called equivalent fractions. Example: ½, 2/4, 4/8 etc.

**Reciprocal:** the multiplicative inverse of a number. For a fraction, it’s obtained by “turning the fraction over.” When the product of two fractions equals 1, the fractions are reciprocals. Every nonzero fraction has a reciprocal.

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