# What is a Mixed Number? A mixed number or (mixed fraction) is one integer and one proper fraction making up a number. To write a mixed number, write down the whole number with the fraction next to it.

A mixed number or (mixed fraction) is one integer and one proper fraction making up a number. To write a mixed number, write down the whole number with the fraction next to it.

For example:

3 ¼

6 ½

4,593 8/16

What is the difference between mixed numbers and improper fractions?

Mixed numbers and improper fractions are both types of fractions that have a value of more than 1, but this is where the similarities end. For improper fractions, this means the numerator (the top number) is bigger than the bottom number (the denominator).

On the other hand, a mixed number is made up of a whole number and a proper fraction, such as 2½. Because of this, mixed numbers are sometimes known as mixed fractions. Decimal numbers can be converted into mixed numbers, for example going from 1.5 to 1½. Sometimes known as mixed fractions, mixed numbers are the ending result of a solved improper fraction. Here’s an example of how this works:

An improper fraction is when the numerator (the number on top) is higher than the denominator (the number on the bottom).

For example:

12/8

This fraction is improper because 12 is higher than 8, meaning that the value of this fraction is more than just one whole. Therefore, when changed to a mixed number, this fraction will be written as1 ⅝.

How do you turn an improper fraction into a mixed number?

Using the example above, we’ll work out how to change an improper fraction into a mixed number.

12/8

Divide the numerator by the denominator

12/8=1 with a remainder of 5

1 becomes the whole number, while 5 becomes the numerator. Making the new, mixed number1 ⅝

Here’s another example:

110/20

110/20=5.5

Mixed number = 5 ½

How to Minus Mixed Fractions

What can confuse children when learning about mixed numbers/ mixed fractions is what to do with the different elements of the mixed fraction during a subtraction sum. To complete a subtraction sum involving mixed fractions, for example, 3 ¾-1 ½, you have to follow these simple steps:

1. First, work out the result of subtracting the whole numbers. So in this example, you would do 3 minus 1, which is 2.
2. Next, you have to work out how to the fractions. Start by converting the fractions so that they both have the same denominator. In this case, 3/4 stays the same, but1/2 is converted to 2/4.
3. Now we can do the subtraction sum involving the fractions. 3/4 – 2/4 = 1/4.
4. The final step is to combine the fraction with the whole number, answering 2 ¼.

And that’s how to minus a mixed fraction from a bigger mixed fraction! For sums involving addition, the process is the same. First, split up the mixed fractions into whole numbers and fractions, add the whole numbers, then add the fractions. Finally, combine the two, and you’ve got your answer.