Converting Percent Notation to Fraction Notation

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  • 0:07 Check Please!
  • 0:39 Definition of Percent
  • 1:03 Convert a Percent to a…
  • 3:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Beddoe

Jennifer has an MS in Chemistry and a BS in Biological Sciences.

The process of converting percents to fractions is quite easy if you know where to start. This lesson will show you how to perform the conversion and give some real-world examples.

Check Please!

Picture it: you and a group of friends decide to go to the new restaurant in town for lunch. You all decide before you get there that, to make the math easier, you will just split the bill 5 ways instead of having to worry about separate checks or trying to calculate what everyone owes. When the bill comes, Ted, the math nerd of the group, says, 'The total bill is $70. Remember, we are each paying 20%.' You reach for your wallet thinking, 'It sure would be easier to calculate what I owe if I knew what fraction 20% was.'

Definition of Percent

The word percent means 'per 100,' so any number written as a percent really is a fraction meaning that number over 100. So 50% really is 50 per 100, or 50/100. 127% is 127 per 100, or 127/100.

Convert a Percent to a Fraction

Since percent is just a different way to write a fraction, converting from percent notation to fraction notation is really quite easy. Just take the percent, write it as the numerator of a fraction with 100 as the denominator, simplify the fraction and remove the percent symbol.

Let's try an example. Convert 42% to a fraction.

First we write the number 42 as the numerator of a fraction. Numerator means the top number of a fraction. We place the number 100 in the denominator of the same fraction. The denominator is the bottom number of the fraction.

Now we have a fraction 42/100, which can be reduced to 21/50. This means that 42% written as a fraction is 21/50.

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