What is a fractional number?

short answers for big questions

If we want a definition, we can start by saying that fractional numbers are numbers that represent one or more parts of a unit that has been divided in equal parts.

fractional number

The fractional numbers are figured out by two whole numbers (the fraction terms) that are separated by a horizontal line (the fraction line). The number above the line (the numerator) can be every whole number and the number below the line (the denominator) should be different from zero. Here are some examples of some kinds of fractions:

  • Proper Fraction: the number is inferior to the denominator, for instance `3/4` ;
  • Improper fraction: the numerator is superior to the denominator, for instance `9/2` ;
  • Mixed Fraction or Mixed Numeral: it is composed of a whole part and a fractional one, for instance `2 1/3` ;
  • Equivalent Fractions: fractions that keep on the same proportion of another fraction, for instance: `5/2 = 10/4` ;
  • Irreducible Fraction: it cannot be simplified, for instance: `4/3` ;
  • Decimal Fraction: the denominator is a power whose base is 10 (10,100,1000,...), for instance `8/100` ;

Is every number written as a fraction a fractional number?

It may seem weird, but the answer is No. First of all because the definition tells us that fractional numbers are numbers that represent one or more parts of the whole. So, for instance, the number `10/2`, which is written as a fraction is not a fractional number, since it figures out number `5` and this one is not part of a whole. The number `sqrt 2 / 3` is also written as a fraction, but it is not a fractional number since the numerator is not a whole number.

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