# What Is a Numerator?

## What Is a Numerator?

The numerator is the number written above the line of a fraction. The numerator of this fraction is 1.

(The number below the line is called the denominator. It is 4 in the fraction above.)

### Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the numerator as "the number written above the line in a vulgar fraction, showing how many of the parts indicated by the denominator are taken."

## Examples of Numerators

The numerator of the fraction 2/3 (two-thirds) is 2. The numerator of the fraction 5/7 (five-sevenths) is 5. ## What Does the Numerator Mean?

A fraction is a part of a whole number.

The numerator tells you how many parts of the whole number there are.

(The denominator tells you how many equal parts the whole is divided into.)

## Visualizing the Numerator

Thinking of slices of a cake is a useful way of visualizing the numerator. 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 numerator tells you have many slices you have:

• A numerator of 1 represents 1 slice of cake. • A numerator of 2 represents 2 slices of cake. • A numerator of 3 represents 3 slices of cake. • A numerator of 4 represents 4 slices of cake. (The denominator tells you how many slices there are in the whole cake. There are 4 slices in the cake above, so the denominators of all the fractions shown is 4.)