What is Fraction?

Fractions are a fundamental concept in mathematics and are used to represent parts of a whole. They are essential for understanding and working with quantities that are not whole numbers, such as parts of a pizza, time intervals, or measurements. In this tutorial, we will explore what fractions are, how they are represented, and their various applications in mathematics and everyday life.

Definition of a Fraction:

A fraction is a numerical representation of a part of a whole. It consists of two parts: the numerator and the denominator, separated by a horizontal line or slash. The numerator represents the number of parts you have, while the denominator indicates the total number of equal parts that make up the whole.

A fraction is typically written as:

\(\frac{a}{b}​ \)


  • “a” is the numerator, representing the part of the whole.
  • “b” is the denominator, representing the number of equal parts that make up the whole.

Key points:

  • Fractions are used to represent non-integer quantities.
  • Fractions are a way to express division, where the numerator is divided by the denominator.

Types of Fractions:

1. Proper Fraction: A proper fraction is one where the numerator is smaller than the denominator (a < b). For example, \(\frac{3}{5}​ \)

2. Improper Fraction: An improper fraction is one where the numerator is equal to or greater than the denominator (a ≥ b). For example, \(\frac{7}{5}​ \).

3. Mixed Number: A mixed number is a combination of a whole number and a proper fraction. For example, \({2\frac{1}{3}}{} \) represents two whole units and one-third of another unit.

Visual Representation of Fractions:

Fractions can be visually represented using various models, such as:

Pie or Circle Model: A fraction is represented as a portion of a circle, with the numerator indicating the number of slices shaded and the denominator showing the total number of equal slices.

Number Line Model: Fractions can also be represented on a number line, where the numerator corresponds to the position on the line.

Rectangular Model: A fraction can be represented as a portion of a rectangle, where the numerator represents the number of equal parts shaded.

Applications of Fractions:

Fractions are used in various mathematical and real-world contexts, including:

a. Measurement: Fractions are used in measuring quantities like length, volume, and weight. For example, 1/2 a liter or 3/4 of a meter.

b. Cooking: Recipes often involve fractions to specify the amount of ingredients needed, such as 1/4 cup of sugar or 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

c. Finance: Fractions are used in financial calculations, like calculating interest or dividing expenses.

d. Time: Time can be expressed as fractions, such as half past one (1:30) or a quarter to three (2:45).

e. Probability: Fractions are used to express the likelihood of an event occurring, such as a 1/4 chance of winning a game.

Operations with Fractions:

Basic operations with fractions include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These operations involve finding common denominators, simplifying fractions, and applying the rules of arithmetic to fractions.


Fractions are a fundamental mathematical concept used to represent parts of a whole. They play a vital role in various aspects of mathematics, as well as in everyday life, where they help us work with non-integer quantities, measurements, and calculations. Understanding fractions is essential for developing strong mathematical skills and practical problem-solving abilities.