How to Turn Improper Fractions Into Whole Numbers

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An improper fraction is defined as a fraction whose numerator (top number) is greater than or equal to the denominator (bottom number). This is also called being "top-heavy." An improper fraction is most often turned into a mixed number with a remainder, but some fractions can be turned into whole numbers.

A mixed number consists of a whole number and a fraction; for instance, 1 1/3 is a mixed number. In this case, the fraction 1/3 is classified as the "remainder." On the other hand, a whole number is a number like 2, 3, and 4.

Converting Improper Fractions to Whole Numbers

    Look at the top number of the fraction and make sure that it is equal to or greater than the bottom number of your fraction.

    If the numbers are the same, you can convert your improper fraction into a whole number of 1.

    If the top number is bigger than the bottom number, see if the bottom number can go into the top number without creating a remainder.

    For example, if the improper fraction is 24/12, 12 goes into 24 two times exactly, without any remainder, creating a whole number of 2.

    If dividing the numerator by the denominator results in a remainder, the fraction cannot be turned into a whole number. In this case, the improper fraction can only be turned into a mixed number.


About the Author

Kevin Cavanagh began writing in 2007, publishing articles for TCGPlayer, an online gaming website. His expertise is in collectible card gaming strategies. Cavanagh graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Christopher Newport University. He is an incoming graduate student at The College of William & Mary, studying psychology.

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