Dividing a Whole Number by a Fraction
Date: 04/02/97 at 18:27:09 From: Adam Thomas 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 Hi Adam! 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 and put the answer on the bottom. Then reduce your final answer if 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/
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