Proper Fractions

pie 3/8  

A Proper Fraction has a top number
less than its bottom number



38 14 1415 45

See how the top number is smaller than the bottom number in each example? That makes it a Proper Fraction.

Three Types of Fractions

There are three types of fraction:

Fraction Types


A Fraction (such as 3/8) has two numbers:


The top number is the Numerator, it is the number of parts you have.
The bottom number is the Denominator, it is the number of parts the whole is divided into.

pie 3/4

Example: 3/4 means:

So we can define the three types of fractions like this:

Proper Fractions: The numerator is less than the denominator
Examples: 1/3, 3/4, 2/7
Improper Fractions: The numerator is greater than (or equal to) the denominator
Examples: 4/3, 11/4, 7/7
Mixed Fractions: A whole number and proper fraction together
Examples: 1 1/3, 2 1/4, 16 2/5

Proper Fractions

So, a proper fraction is just a fraction where the numerator (the top number) is less than the denominator (the bottom number). Here are some examples of proper fractions:

pie 1/2 pie 1/4 pie 3/8
1/2 1/4 3/8