# Denominator(KS1, Year 2)

## The Lesson

The denominator is the number written below the line of a fraction.

The denominator of this fraction is 4. (The number above the line is called the numerator. It is 1 in the fraction above).

## Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the denominator as "The number written below the line in a vulgar fraction, which gives the denomination or value of the parts into which the integer is divided."

## Examples of Denominators

The denominator of the fraction 2/3 (two-thirds) is 3. The denominator of the fraction 5/7 (five-sevenths) is 7.

## What Does the Denominator Mean?

A fraction is a part of a whole number. The denominator tells you how many equal parts the whole is divided into. (The numerator tells you how many parts of the whole number there are).

## Visualizing the Denominator

Thinking of slices of a cake is a useful way of visualizing the denominator. A fraction is a part of a whole number. So it can be visualized as a number of slices of cake, which are parts of the whole cake. The denominator tells you how many slices the cake is cut into:
• A denominator of 1 means the cake is left whole.

• A denominator of 2 means the cake is cut into 2 equal slices.

• A denominator of 3 means the cake is cut into 3 equal slices.

(The numerator tells you how many slices are in the fraction. In our example above, we have included 1 slice of the 3 equal slices. The numerator of this fraction is 1.)

## What Is a Fraction?

A fraction is a part of a whole number. Fractions consist of a numerator and a denominator. There are three different types of fractions:

## Fractions with Larger Denominators Are Smaller

If fractions have the same numerator, having a larger denominator makes the fraction smaller.

If you visualize the denominator as the number of slices a cake is cut into, then having a larger denominator means:
• having more slices.
• each slice getting smaller.
You have a smaller fraction of the whole cake:

(If the numerator is the same, then the number of slices we are considering stays the same).
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