How to Change Improper Fractions to a Mixed Number

By Steph Klark; Updated April 24, 2017
Change improper fractions to mixed numbers.

Math is all around us and fractions are not an exception. Mixed numbers are generally easier to understand than improper fractions, so it's usual to change improper fractions to mixed numbers for ease of reading and speaking. One example where mixed fractions are used is weighing produce or other items. A weight of 3 1/2 lb. is clearer than 7/2 lb.

Division is used to change improper fractions to mixed numbers.

Divide the numerator by the denominator. See how many times the smaller number can go into the larger number without going over. That number will be the whole number portion of a mixed number. Write that number down.

Write the remainder (if there's one) as the numerator, which is the top number of a fraction. The remainder becomes the numerator in a mixed fraction.

Write the same denominator (or divisor) under the new numerator. The denominator always stays the same. For instance, you can change the improper fraction 11/4 to the mixed number 2 3/4. It is read as two and three fourths.


Do not be alarmed if there is no remainder. Some improper fractions may be whole numbers too.

About the Author

Steph Klark is a professional freelance writer specializing in cell phones, education and crafts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Walden University.