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### Dividing a Whole Number by a Fraction

```
Date: 04/02/97 at 18:27:09
Subject: Divide Whole Number by Fraction

What are the steps to divide a whole number by a fraction?
```

```
Date: 04/02/97 at 19:07:51
From: Doctor Wallace
Subject: Re: Divide Whole Number by Fraction

To divide whole numbers by a fraction, we use the same procedure we
use when we divide a fraction by a fraction:  we invert (flip) the
denominator (bottom number) and multiply.

To do this for whole numbers, we remember that a whole number can be
written as a fraction by making the denominator a 1.

So 3 is the same as 3/1, 4 is 4/1, and so on.

Suppose we want to divide 2 by 1/3.  We would have this:

2
-------
1
-
3

We write the 2 as a fraction, so we have this:

2
-
1
-------------
1
-
3

Now, we flip over the bottom and multiply it by the top:

2     3        6
-  x  -   =    -    =    6
1     1        1

We may have to reduce the final product.  Let's look at one more
example:

How about 4 divided by 5/6?

4
-
1          4     6        24
---------- =    -  x  -   =   ---- =  4 and 4/5
5          1     5         5
-
6

Remember that to multiply fractions, you just multiply the top numbers
and put the answer on the top, and then multiply the bottom numbers
necessary.

So this problem actually turns division problems into multiplication
problems.

Thanks for writing!

-Doctor Wallace,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Elementary Division
Elementary Fractions

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