How to Change Mixed Numbers Into Whole Numbers

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The words "mixed" and "whole" in reference to numbers are common terms used in math classrooms ranging from upper elementary school through college. A whole number stands on its own, without a fraction or decimal attached to it. When you count to three, for example, you are using whole numbers -- 1, 2, 3. A mixed number is a combination of a whole number and a fraction, such as 5 3/4. You can convert a mixed number to a whole number through a simple process called rounding.

• Write down the mixed number. For example, let's use 5 3/4.

• Convert the fraction portion of the mixed number to a decimal. Divide the numerator (the top number) by the denominator (the bottom number). In our example, divide 3 by 4 to get 0.75.

• Add the decimal to the whole number. In this case, add 0.75 to 5 to get 5.75.

• Round the number containing the decimal to the nearest whole number. If the number to the right of the decimal is 5 or greater, round up to the next whole number; if the number is 4 or less, round down. So our mixed number 5.75 becomes the whole number 6. If it had been 5.4, for example, you would have rounded down to 5.

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