Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from irena, a student:

Need help writing this fraction as whole or mixed number 124/6


To convert an improper fraction into a mixed number first divide the denominator into the numerator to obtain a whole number quotient and a remainder. The mixed number is then the whole number you obtained plus the fraction formed by the remainder over the denominator. You should then express the fractional part in lowest terms.

here is an example, 236/8. Division of 236 by 8 gives 29 with a remainder of 4. Thus 236/8 = 29 4/8. The fractional part 4/8 when written in lowest terms is 1/2 and hence 236/8 = 29 1/2.


Irena wrote back

The example confused me even more, one time is used 234/8 another time is used 236/8. I actually wanted to know about 124/6 because that is where I'm having trouble. I guess when I try to divide the denominator into the numerator I get 2 with remainder of 4?

Sorry about my typo, it should be 236/8. I fixed it above.

Now I see what your difficulty is. 124 divided by 6 is 20 with a remainder of 4. (As a check, 6 × 20 = 120 which is 4 less than 124.)

I hope this helps,

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