How to Write a Ratio as a Fraction in Simplest Form

By Chang Lin; Updated April 24, 2017
Change Ratios to Fractions

Much like fractions, ratios are a comparison of two quantities containing differences in characteristics or properties. For example, comparing dogs and cats, boys and girls, or students and teachers can all be turned into a ratio or fraction, in which there is a numerator and a denominator. Although most times, ratios are seen with a colon symbol, they are conceptually similar to fractions and can be simplified like fractions as well.

Change any worded ratios, such as "one of two" or "one to two," into numerical ratios. For example, if a sentence reads "There are two oatmeal cookies for every four chocolate chip cookies," it would be written as 2:4 ratio of oatmeal cookies to chocolate chip cookies.

Convert your ratios to fractions by replacing the "colon" symbol with a "divide" symbol. For example, a ratio of 2:4 is the same as 2/4.

Simplify your fraction by dividing the top and bottom by the same number until you cannot divide any longer. For example, you can divide 2/4 by the number "2" on both the numerator and denominator. The result would be a simplified fraction of 1/2.

About the Author

Chang Lin has been writing professionally since 2010. He has written scripts for the National Science Foundation and short films that have won awards at film festivals. Lin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scriptwriting from the University of North Texas.