Multiplying fractions sounds daunting! Do you multiply the denominator or the numerator? Which is which?

Learning how to multiply fractions by whole numbers is a useful skill that you can **use in your everyday life**, including baking, sports, and crafting!

## Numerators and Denominators

Before we learn how to multiply fractions, we need to know the **two parts** of a fraction.

### Numerator

The number **above the line** is called the **numerator**.The numerator is the **number of parts of the whole amount**.

### Denominator

The number **below the line** is called the **denominator**.The denominator is the **number of equal parts the whole is divided into**.

Sometimes, you'll see a fraction written with a **slash** instead of a horizontal line — for example: 3/4. The number that falls to the **left is equivalent to the numerator**, and the number that falls on the **right is the denominator.**

In the example above, the numerator is 1, and the denominator is 2.

## Multiply whole numbers

Now, we'll get into multiplying whole numbers. It's easier than you think!

When multiplying fractions by a whole number, **make your whole number the numerator**. Then, **put 1 as the denominator**. A fraction is simply telling you to divide. 4/1 is equivalent to 4.

Let's try an example. You want to multiply 2/5 by 4:

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All you have to do is **multiply across**. Multiply the numerators and multiply the denominators. Your answer would be 8/5.

#### Quiz

It takes 3/4 of a cup of flour to bake one muffin. You want to bake 7 muffins but you only have a cup that measures a quarter (1/4) of a cup. How many quarter cups of flour will it take to bake these muffins in total?

## Improper fractions and mixed numbers

When you multiply fractions by a whole number, you end up with an improper fraction.** An improper fraction means that the numerator is greater than the denominator.** You can convert improper fractions to mixed numbers by dividing the numerator by the denominator and leaving the **remainder as a fraction**.

Let's look at our example from the previous step:

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5 goes into 8 once, and we're left with 3. So 8/5 written as a mixed number would be 1 and 3/5.

*Image created by the author via WebWhiteboard*

#### Quiz

If a football game played 5 quarters instead of the typical 4, how would the total number of quarters played be written as a mixed number?

## Take Action

Now you can easily multiply whole numbers by fractions. Check out these other helpful resources related to fractions!

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