A fraction is a part of a whole
Slice a pizza, and you will have fractions:
|The top number tells how many slices you have
The bottom number tells how many slices the pizza was cut into.
Numerator / Denominator
We call the top number the Numerator, it is the number of parts you have.
We call the bottom number the Denominator, it is the number of parts the whole is divided into.
You just have to remember those names! (If you forget just think "Down"-ominator)
Some fractions may look different, but are really the same, for example:
It is usually best to show an answer using the simplest fraction ( 1/2 in this case ). That is called Simplifying, or Reducing the Fraction
You can add fractions easily if the bottom number (the denominator) is the same:
Adding Fractions with Different Denominators
But what if the denominators (the bottom numbers) are not the same? As in this example:
You must somehow make the denominators the same.
In this case it is easy, because we know that 1/4
is the same as 2/8 :
But it can be harder to make the denominators the same, so you may need to use one of these methods (they both work, use whichever you prefer):