Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Dawn, a student:

For some reason, I have a hard time with Ratio and/or rate problems.
My problem is as follow: Write each rate or ratio as a fraction in lowest
terms. 6 days to 39 hours

Hi Dawn.

This becomes the fraction 6 / 39. Reducing a fraction means finding common factors that go into both the numerator (number on top or before the / ) and the denominator (the lower or second number).

So what goes into 6? 2 and 3 go into 6, so do either of these also go into 39 evenly? 2 doesn't, but 3 does. 3 times what makes 39? It is 3 times 13.

This means 6 / 39 = (2 x 3) / (3 x 13). Now you can cancel out the factor of 3 in the numerator with the factor of 3 in the denominator. Then look for any other common factors, you are done when there are no
common factors left.

Hope this helps,
Stephen La Rocque.

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