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Types of Numbers

Types of Numbers

At a Glance - Division of Fractions

In the world of fractions, division is really just another way of saying "multiplication by the reciprocal."

The phrase "a divided by b" means "a multiplied by the reciprocal of b."

For example:


Which should make you happy, since you already know how to multiply by a reciprocal. This should really free up your weekend.

You won't always see a fraction division problem written in that left-to-right format. Sometimes it will appear as a repulsive, nightmarish "fraction over a fraction." Don't sweat it though. Keep in mind that the line between the two mini-fractions means "divided by" and you'll be fine. In other words, you can take something unappealing like this:

And rewrite it like this:

Now it doesn't look so bad, and you know what to do with it.

There's another option, and you should probably know how to do it, just in case you're asked. Never hurts to have a second method in your back pocket. Unless the method in question is jagged or covered in spikes. Ouch.

Method Numero Dos:

Multiply the numerator and denominator by the reciprocal of the fraction in the denominator. That sentence has a lot of long words in it, but break it down and it's not so bad.

Example 1

What is ?

Example 2

What is ?

Example 3

What is 6/2 ÷ 5?

Exercise 1

What is ?

Exercise 2

What is ?

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