How to Use Approximation to Find the Greatest Fraction

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Using approximation to find the greatest fraction is something you might do if you had two half fractions. Use approximation to find the greatest fraction with help from an experienced mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Math Lessons & Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Marija, and today I'm gonna show you how to use approximations to find the greatest fraction. If you're given two fractions like one-half and let's say three-eighths, and you want to know which one is greater, what I would do is ask myself, well, half of eight is four. So look at the numerator. The numerator is less than four, so that means that this fraction three-eights must actually be less than one-half. So that's how we determine that one-half is greater than three-eights. If the denominators are close, you don't want to use approximation all the time, it might be difficult. So if you're looking for a shortcut way to determine which one is greater between let's say one-third and two-tenths, what I would do is cross multiply and say ten times one is ten, two times three is six, the fraction that has the greater number on top is actually your greater fraction, so I can go ahead and write in that one-third is greater than two-tenths. So when the denominators are a little further apart and it's possible, ask yourself what would be the eight in terms of one-half, but if it's not, cross multiply and see which number is bigger on top, and that one would be your greater fraction.


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