How Do I Tell Which Fraction Is Larger?

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Fractions are used to express a part of a unit. Comparing fractions requires a calculation as they differ in size of the whole. For example 2/3 cannot be compared to 7/11 directly. When comparing fractions you must make sure that they have a common denominator (lower number), so that you can compare the top numbers. You can do this by making two multiplications and comparing the final numbers to find the larger number.

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  • Calculator
  • Check the two fractions to find the nearest common denominator. For example, the nearest common denominator for 1/3 and 2/5 is 15, as this is the first number that both 3 and 5 go into.

  • Multiply the first fraction by the required amount to get the common fraction. For example 1/3 to get to a bottom number of 15 needs to be multiplied by 5 giving the answer of 5/15.

  • Multiply the second fraction by the required amount to get the common fraction. For example 2/5 to get to a bottom number of 15 needs to be multiplied by 3 giving the answer of 6/15.

  • Compare the results. In the example case we find that the second fraction of 2/5 (6/15) is larger than 1/3 (5/15).

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