### What are Fractions?

A **fraction** is part of a whole. It's **less** than** 1 **whole thing, but more than **0**. We use fractions all the time in real life. Have you ever ordered a **quarter**-pound burger? Or noticed that your gas tank is **half** full? Both of these are fractions of the whole amount—a whole pound of meat, or a whole tank of gas.

Fractions look a little like division expressions, but they aren't problems to be solved. They are a way of expressing an **amount**. Like numbers, fractions tell you **how much** you have of something.

Click through the slideshow to learn how fractions work.

Let's imagine that you have one pizza divided into 8 slices.

Say that you take 1 of the 8 slices.

You could say that you took 1/8 of the pizza. 1/8 is a **fraction**.

We write it like that because the pizza has 8 slices...

We write it like that because the pizza has 8 slices...and you're taking 1.

What if you take 2 slices?

Now you're taking 2/8 of the pizza.

The bottom number, 8, stayed the same, since the pizza is still divided into the same number of slices.

The top number changed, since we're talking about 2 slices now.

We could also say that 6/8 slices were left. There's **less than **1 pizza, but more than 0 pizzas. That's why we use a fraction.

Let's look at another example of how you can use fractions to show **part** of something.

This coffee pot holds **4** cups of coffee. Right now it's full.

We could write this as a fraction: 4/4. **4** cups are there, out of **4** cups total.

As the morning goes on, the coffee pot gets emptier. Now there are **3** cups left, so it's 3/4 full.

Now, it's 2/4 full.

And now it's 1/4 full. We have **less than **1 pot of coffee, but we still have **more than** 0 pots. We have a **fraction** of the pot left.