
How to compare fractions with one another.
Theory:There are many ways of writing the same fraction. For example, each of these values is the same: 0.75 is a decimal fraction, 3/4 is a common fraction, while 6/8 is an equivalent common fraction no reduced to its lowest terms. Fractions such as:Â ^{4}/_{3} which have a numerator (top number) bigger than the denominator (bottom number) are called 'improper'. Commonly, improper fractions are written as 'mixed numbers'. Converting ^{4}/_{3} to a mixed number we have: and where: Because there are so many different ways of writing fractions, it can be quite difficult to compare fractions in their different forms. For example, put the following numbers in ascending order, (from smallest to greatest):
The solution is to convert the fractions to the same form, then they can be easily compared. Often it is easiest to convert all of the fractions to decimal fractions:
These numbers can now be easily compared and put into ascending order, like this...
Method:Maths Helper Plus can convert a group of fractions to decimal form, and display the results graphically on a number line. This makes comparing different types of fractions very easy. The diagram below shows how Maths Helper Plus displays the five fractions from the 'Theory' section above:
Â Step 2Â Display the parameters box and enter valuesPress the F5 key to display the parameters box: Â Click on the edit boxes of the parameters box to enter up to five different fractions. Use the formats described in this table: Â
ÂWhen you have entered your fractions, click the 'Update' button on the parameters box to refresh the display. Your fractions will all be displayed in decimal form so that they can easily be compared. Â Step 3Â Adjust the number line scale and positionIf the number line in Maths Helper Plus displays all of the numbers you have entered, then you are finished, otherwise: Â
