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Lesson 5: Fractions and whole numbers

# Understand fractions: FAQ

## 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 start color #9e034e, start text, n, u, m, e, r, a, t, o, r, end text, end color #9e034e is the number of equal parts being counted.
The start color #0c7f99, start text, d, e, n, o, m, i, n, a, t, o, r, end text, end color #0c7f99 is the number of equal parts in one whole.
start fraction, start color #9e034e, start text, n, u, m, e, r, a, t, o, r, end text, end color #9e034e, divided by, start color #0c7f99, start text, d, e, n, o, m, i, n, a, t, o, r, end text, end color #0c7f99, end fraction

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

It means that the fraction is bigger than 1.
For example, start fraction, start color #9e034e, 4, end color #9e034e, divided by, start color #0c7f99, 3, end color #0c7f99, end fraction is greater than 1 because the number of pieces we are counting, start color #9e034e, 4, end color #9e034e is greater than the number of pieces in the whole, start color #0c7f99, 3, end color #0c7f99.

## 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 start fraction, 1, divided by, 4, end fraction halfway between 0 and start fraction, 1, divided by, 2, end fraction.

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

A fraction is greater than 1 when the numerator is greater than the denominator.
A fraction is equal to 1 when the numerator is equal to the denominator.
A fraction is less than 1 when the numerator is less than the denominator.

## 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 start fraction, 1, divided by, 2, end fraction a cup of sugar. We also use fractions in measurements, like start fraction, 3, divided by, 4, end fraction of an inch.