## Math Basics## Fractions |

## What are proper and improper fractions? |

The word “fraction” to most of us means a part of something; in mathematics, it represents a type of numeral, in most cases the quotient of two integers, with the top number called the *numerator* (the number of parts) and the bottom number the *denominator* (how many parts the whole is divided into). Written, the numerator and denominator are separated by a “/” or “—”. A fraction is usually denoted by a/b, in which “a” and “b” are whole numbers and “b” is not equal to zero (for the explanation of why you cannot divide by zero, see above).

A rational number between 0 and 1 can be represented by fractions (by the division of two numbers). If the quotient is less than one, such as ½ or 2/5, then it is called a *proper fraction*; if the quotient is greater than one—or in other words, if the numerator of a fraction is larger than the denominator, such as 23/7—it is called an *improper fraction*.