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# How do you compare ant two fractions to decide which is largest?

Updated: 9/22/2023

Wiki User

11y ago

A fraction has the numerator on 'top' and the denominator on the 'bottom'. If the two fractions have the same denominator (eg: 1/4 and 3/4) then you can simply compare the numerators, and the larger fraction has the larger denominator (in the above example, 3 is bigger than 1 so 3/4 is bigger than 1/4.)

If the Denominators are different then you must find the common denominator. Do this by 'adjusting' (multiplying numerator and denominator by the same number) either one or both fractions, then comparing the numerators.

eg: 2/3 and 1/2. The denominators are different, and the common denominator would be 6 (2x3). (This is not always the smallest though, like the lowest common denominator for 1/4 and 1/6 is 12, not 24.)

Once you have the lowest common denominator, adjust the fractions: 2/3 becomes 4/6 (as you had to multiply 3 by 2 to get 6, multiply the numerator by 2). 1/2 becomes 3/6 (again, multiply numerator by the same number as the denominator).

Compare the fractions: we have 3/6 and 4/6. 4/6 is bigger, which is the same as 2/3, therefore 2/3 is bigger than 1/2.

Wiki User

11y ago