What Does The Word''of'' Mean In A Fraction?


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Oddman Profile
Oddman answered
The word "of" usually means "times," as in 20% of 12 = 20%*12.

Perhaps you are reading a fraction like 3/5 as "3 of 5" or "3 out of 5". This could tend to be confusing.

Rather, it could be read as "3 of (1/5)", that is "three of one-fifth", so as to restore the word "of" to its role as a multiplication indicator. (Such a reading would mean I have 3 pieces, each of which is 1/5 of the whole in size.) I would suggest reading fractions using "over", as in "3 over 5" for 3/5. For a fraction such as 3/5, you can just read it as "three fifths."

When numerator or denominator has more than one piece, you need to use parentheses to identify what the numerator or denominator is. When you read it, you can say "the quantity" to identify what is in parentheses. Example: (x+3)/(4x) is read "the quantity x plus 3 over the quantity 4x".

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