What Is an Improper Fraction?

What Is an Improper Fraction?

An improper fraction is a type of fraction.

The top number of an improper fraction (called the numerator) is greater than or equal to the bottom number (called the denominator).

Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a proper fraction as "a fraction whose numerator is greater than (or equal to) its denominator, and whose value is therefore greater than (or equal to) unity."

Examples of Improper Fractions

Here are some examples of improper fractions:

Visualizing Improper Fractions

A useful way of visualizing fractions is to picture it as a cake being cut into equal parts.

The top number (the numerator) tells you have many slices you have. The bottom number (the denominator) tells you how many equal slices the cake is cut into.

For improper fractions, there are enough slices to make at least one whole cake, and there may be more slices to spare:

See Also

What is a fraction? What is a numerator? What is a denominator? What is a proper fraction? What is a mixed fraction? Converting improper fractions to mixed fractions Learn more about the types of fractions ( interactive widget)