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Concept# Fraction

Summary

A fraction (from fractus, "broken") represents a part of a whole or, more generally, any number of equal parts. When spoken in everyday English, a fraction describes how many parts of a certain size there are, for example, one-half, eight-fifths, three-quarters. A common, vulgar, or simple fraction (examples: and ) consists of an integer numerator, displayed above a line (or before a slash like ), and a non-zero integer denominator, displayed below (or after) that line. If these integers are positive, then the numerator represents a number of equal parts, and the denominator indicates how many of those parts make up a unit or a whole. For example, in the fraction 3/4, the numerator 3 indicates that the fraction represents 3 equal parts, and the denominator 4 indicates that 4 parts make up a whole. The picture to the right illustrates 3/4 of a cake.
Other uses for fractions are to represent ratios and division. Thus the fraction 3/4 can also be used to represent the ratio 3:4 (the ratio of the part to the whole), and the division (three divided by four).
We can also write negative fractions, which represent the opposite of a positive fraction. For example, if 1/2 represents a half-dollar profit, then −1/2 represents a half-dollar loss. Because of the rules of division of signed numbers (which states in part that negative divided by positive is negative), −1/2, −1/2 and 1/−2 all represent the same fraction - negative one-half. And because a negative divided by a negative produces a positive, −1/−2 represents positive one-half.
In mathematics the set of all numbers that can be expressed in the form a/b, where a and b are integers and b is not zero, is called the set of rational numbers and is represented by the symbol Q or Q, which stands for quotient. A number is a rational number precisely when it can be written in that form (i.e., as a common fraction). However, the word fraction can also be used to describe mathematical expressions that are not rational numbers.

Official source

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Related concepts (45)

Rational number

In mathematics, a rational number is a number that can be expressed as the quotient or fraction \tfrac p q of two integers, a numerator p and a non-zero denominator q. For example, \tfrac{-3}{7} is a rational number, as is every integer (e.g., 5 = 5/1). The set of all rational numbers, also referred to as "the rationals", the field of rationals or the field of rational numbers is usually denoted by boldface Q, or blackboard bold \Q. A rational number is a real number.

Per mille

Per mille () is parts per thousand. Other recognised spellings include per mil, per mill, permil, permill, or permille. The associated sign is written , which looks like a per cent sign with an extra zero or o in the divisor. Major dictionaries do not agree on the spelling and some dictionaries, such as Macmillan, do not even contain an entry. One common usage is blood alcohol content, which is usually expressed as a percentage in English-speaking countries. Per mille should not be confused with parts per million (ppm).

Quotient

In arithmetic, a quotient (from quotiens 'how many times', pronounced ˈkwoʊʃənt) is a quantity produced by the division of two numbers. The quotient has widespread use throughout mathematics. It has two definitions: either the integer part of a division (in the case of Euclidean division), or as a fraction or a ratio (in the case of a general division). For example, when dividing 20 (the dividend) by 3 (the divisor), the quotient is 6 (with a remainder of 2) in the first sense, and (a repeating decimal) in the second sense.

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