Fraction - What Is a Fraction? Video
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# Video:What Is a Fraction?

with Zoya Popova

Want to learn about the definition of fractions? Here, see information about fractions and what they mean in mathematics.See Transcript

## Transcript:What Is a Fraction?

Hi, I'm Zoya Popova for About.com, and today we're going to talk about fractions.

### Definition of Fractions

Put quite simply, a fraction is a type of number. They are numbers that represents parts of a whole. Now, when we talk about fractions, we usually refer to common fractions. A common fraction is a number that is written down as a whole number divided by another whole number that is not a zero. 2/3 is an example of a common fraction, with the whole number 2 in the top divided by the whole number 3 in the bottom.

The top number is known as the numerator, and the bottom number is known as the denominator. So let's take look at this apple. For the fraction 2/3, the denominator is 3, and what it tells us is that the apple has been cut into 3 equal parts. The numerator is 2, and that tells us that we're dealing with 2 of those 3 equal parts.

### Fractions Facts

An important distinction is proper fractions versus improper fractions. In a proper fraction, the numerator is smaller than the denominator. For instance, in 7/8, 7 is smaller than 8; and in -2/15, 2 is smaller than 15. Improper fractions have an absolute value of less than 1. In an improper fraction, the numerator is greater than the denominator, such as 17/12. Now, it is obvious that the absolute value of this fraction is greater than 1, because 17 twelfths already contain 12 twelfths, plus an additional 5 twelfths.