Numerator - Which one is the Numerator? - Fractions answers questions


A pie cut into thirds
A pie cut into thirds

September 2016 - The numerator of a fraction is the number on the top, just as the denominator is the number on the bottom. In the fraction 1/2, the numerator is one, and in the fraction 3/4, the numerator is three.

The numerator tells you how many pieces of pie you're going to get to eat. If the fraction is 1/2, that means you cut the pie into two equal size pieces and then choose one of the pieces: you get one out of two pieces, or half the pie. If the fraction is 3/6, that means you cut the pie into six equal pieces and then choose three of the pieces. You eat three out of six pieces, or, again, half of the pie.

To add two fractions together, you need to make sure the denominators (the number on the bottom) are the same, and then add the two numerators together. So 1/3 + 2/3 = 3/3 (that's 1). To multiply two fractions, you just multiply the two numerators (the top numbers) and put that on the top, and multiply the two denominators (the bottom numbers) and put that on the bottom. So 1/3 x 2/3 = 2/9.

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Bibliography and further reading about numbers:

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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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