Numbers: Getting to grips with division
Numbers: Getting to grips with division

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Numbers: Getting to grips with division

4.2 Fractions

Instead of putting the two left over biscuits back in the tin, you might instead decide to break them into halves and then give one of the resulting four halves to each person so that everyone receives a total of one and a half biscuits. In this case, the answer has to be expressed as a fraction or the equivalent decimal number:

  • 6 ÷ 4 = 1½
  • 6 ÷ 4 = 1.5

A fraction is really just another way of expressing a division because ½ means ‘1 over 2’, which is another way of saying 1 divided by 2. Each of the following fractions is the same because in each case you have to multiply the top number by 2 to get the bottom number. 1 is half of 2, 2 is half of 4, 6 is half of 12, and 25 is half of 50.

Described image
Figure 2

It’s a convention when using fractions to ‘reduce’ them so that they have the smallest possible numbers at the top and bottom. So you usually write instead of, for example, .

Div_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus