**Introduction**

In this lesson, you will learn how to convert between improper fractions and mixed numbers.

This video illustrates the lesson material below. Watching the video is optional.

**Different Fractions**

An important part of learning about fractions is becoming comfortable understanding what they mean. Being able to convert between improper fractions and mixed numbers is a great way to understand fractions and recognize how large or small a fraction is. Here are some math terms that will help you to understand this lesson better:

**Proper Fraction:**A fraction whose numerator is less than the denominator.- Example: \(\frac{3}{4}\)

**Improper Fraction:**A fraction whose numerator is greater than the denominator.- Example: \(\frac{4}{3}\)

**Mixed Number:**An integer combined with a proper fraction showing how many wholes and how many parts are in the number.- Example: \(2\frac{1}{3}\) means 2 wholes and \(\frac{1}{3}\) pieces, pronounced "two and one-third."

**Converting Fractions and Mixed Numbers**

Being able to convert between improper fractions and mixed numbers is a great way to be able to understand fractions and recognize how large or small a fraction is.

**Example 1**

Suppose you went to a party with lots of pizza. At the end, there was some pizza leftover. Below is an image of how much pizza was left over.

Figure 1

If you combine all of the leftover slices, how many pizzas will be left over? These are the fractions you have:

\begin{align*} \frac{4}{8}+\frac{3}{8}+\frac{5}{8}+\frac{2}{8}+\frac{1}{8}+\frac{6}{8}+\frac{8}{8} \end{align*}

Figure 2

Because all of these fractions have the same denominator (because all of the pizzas had the same amount of slices at the start) you can add the numerators to see how many slices you have leftover.

\begin{align*} Numerators: 4+3+5+2+1+6+8=29 \end{align*}

Now that you know the total of leftover slices is 29, you also know that the fraction of leftover pizza is \(\frac{29}{8}\). This is an example of an improper fraction, meaning the numerator is greater than the denominator.

To get a better understanding of what \(\frac{29}{8}\) really means, you can demonstrate it visually. If you take another look at each of the pizzas, you can combine the leftover slices to create whole pizzas.

You can combine the \(\frac{4}{8}\), the \(\frac{3}{8}\), and the \(\frac{1}{8}\) to get \(\frac{8}{8}\), making one whole pizza.

Figure 3

Similarly, you can combine the \(\frac{2}{8}\) with the \(\frac{6}{8}\) to get a whole pizza.

Figure 4

Now you can see that there are three full pizzas and \(\frac{5}{8}\) leftover. So \(\frac{29}{8}\) is the same as \(3\frac{5}{8}\). This is an example of a mixed number because there is an integer, 3, and a proper fraction, \(\frac{5}{8}\), where the numerator is smaller than the denominator.

Figure 5

Breaking \(3\frac{5}{8}\) down into fractions would make it look like this:

\begin{align*} \frac{8}{8}+\frac{8}{8}+\frac{8}{8}+\frac{5}{8} = \frac{29}{8} \end{align*}

**Converting a Mixed Number to an Improper Fraction**

When converting from a mixed number to an improper fraction:

- Multiply the integer by the denominator
- Add the numerator to get the new numerator.
- Keep the denominator the same.

**Example 2**

Find the improper fraction of \(2\frac{1}{3} \).

\begin{align*} 2\times3 &= 6 &\color{red}\small\text{Multiply the integer by the denominator} \\\\ 6+ 1 &= 7&\color{red}\small\text{Add the numerator} \\\\ & \frac{7}{3} &\color{red}\small\text{New numerator over the denominator} \end{align*}

\(\frac{7}{3}\) is the improper fraction of \(2\frac{1}{3} \).

**Example 3**

Find the improper fraction of \(3\frac{5}{8} \).

\begin{align*} 3\times8 &= 24 &\color{red}\small\text{Multiply the integer by the denominator} \\\\ 24+ 5 &= 29&\color{red}\small\text{Add the numerator} \\\\ & \frac{29}{8} &\color{red}\small\text{New numerator over the denominator} \end{align*}

Another way to look at it: \(\frac{3\times8+5}{8} = \frac{29}{8} \).

**Example 4**

Find the improper fraction of \(2\frac{1}{4}\).

\begin{align*} 2\frac{1}{4} = \frac{4\times2+1}{4} =\frac{9}{4} \end{align*}

Because the denominator is 4, you know you are talking about something that has four parts. In this case, that means:

\begin{align*} \frac{4}{4}+&\frac{4}{4}+\frac{1}{4} = \frac{8}{4}+\frac{1}{4} = \frac{9}{4} \end{align*}

**Converting an Improper Fraction to a Mixed Number**

When converting from an improper fraction to a mixed number:

- Divide the numerator by the denominator.
- Keep the remainder as the numerator of the new fraction part.
- The denominator stays the same.

**Example 5**

\( \frac{11}{5}=11\div5=2\;\) with 1 divided by 5 left over.

Figure 6

The mixed fraction is written as \(2\frac{1}{5}\).

**Example 6**

Change \(\frac{9}{4}\) into a mixed number.

To do this, take the numerator, 9, and divide it by the denominator, 4.

Figure 7

9 divided by 4 is 2 with a remainder of 1. The remainder 1 becomes the new numerator. The mixed fraction is written as \(2\frac{1}{4}\).

**Example 7**

Change \(\frac{29}{8}\) into a mixed number.

Figure 8

The mixed fraction is \(3\frac{5}{8}\).

**Things to Remember**

- An improper fraction has a numerator that's larger than the denominator.
- A mixed number is an integer combined with a proper fraction showing how many wholes and how many parts are in the number. To convert a mixed number to an improper fraction, take the integer and multiply it by the denominator, and then add the numerator. This becomes the new numerator, and the denominator stays the same.
- To convert an improper fraction to a mixed number, take the numerator and divide it by the denominator.

### Practice Problems

**Convert the following mixed numbers into improper fractions:**

- \(\displaystyle 1\frac{3}{4}\) (Solution
- \(\displaystyle 5\frac{1}{8}\) (Video Solution
- \(\displaystyle 3\frac{2}{5}\) (Solution
- \(\dfrac{11}{4}\) (Video Solution
- \(\dfrac{13}{6}\) (Solution
- \(\dfrac{32}{3}\) (Solution

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