Fractions can tie some people up in knots. By the end of this post, you’ll know what each part of the fraction is called, what it means and a handy little phrase to use when describing them.

A fraction means “part of something” ** and looks a bit like this:

The numerator tells us how many parts we have. So in the example above the **numerator** is 1, so we have one part.

The **denominator** tells us how many parts the whole is divided into (how many parts in total we have) . So if our ½ fraction were a cake, it’s telling us the cake has been cut into two slices. (lucky us)

So this fraction is saying “one out of two parts”

We can use this same phrase to describe the following fractions:

1/3 1 out of 3 parts or one third

2/5 2 out of 5 parts or two fifths

3/4 3 out of 4 parts or three quarters (or three fourths)

What are your fraction examples and how might you describe them? Let me know in the comments below.

**there’s such a thing as top-heavy or improper fractions (like 6/5) which equal more than 1 but that’s a story for another day.

catcopter_22 says

the line is called”fractional line(sorry if I spelled wrong)”

Liz says

Thanks for your comment! The phrase was mostly for fun, but I might update it to make it clearer.