Basic Math Tips: Fractions - dummies

By Mark Zegarelli

Part of 1,001 Basic Math & Pre-Algebra Practice Problems For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Fractions are a common way of describing parts of a whole. They’re commonly used for English weights and measures, especially for small measurements in cooking and carpentry. If you want to be proficient in basic math, and if you want to prepare for pre-algebra, you need to know the ins and outs of fractions.

  • Remember that the numerator of a fraction is the top number and the denominator is the bottom number.

  • The reciprocal of a fraction is that fraction turned upside-down.

  • To increase the terms of a fraction, multiply the numerator and denominator by the same number.

  • To reduce the terms of a fraction to lowest terms, divide both the numerator and denominator by the greatest possible number.

  • To simplify complex fractions, first simplify the numerator and denominator to two separate fractions; then change the problem to division.