Numbers: Getting to grips with division

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# 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.

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, .

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