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How to Change Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions

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  • 0:02 What Are Mixed Numbers…
  • 0:47 The Procedure
  • 1:53 Example 1
  • 2:35 Example 2
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

When it comes to fractions in algebra, we hardly ever use mixed numbers. Instead, we opt for the ease of use of improper fractions. Watch this video lesson to learn how to change your mixed numbers to improper fractions.

What Are Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions?

In algebra, instead of using a mixed number, a fraction written with a whole number part and a fraction part that is less than 1, we use improper fractions, fractions whose numerator is greater than the denominator. In this video lesson, we will learn how to change your mixed numbers into improper fractions.

We use improper fractions over mixed numbers because they are easier to deal with in formulas and such. Recall that your mixed numbers look like 2 1/2, while your improper fractions look like 3/2. Changing your mixed number into an improper fraction isn't all that hard as it turns out. All you need to do is to be able to do a little multiplication and some addition.

The Procedure

So, let's look at the procedure for changing mixed numbers into improper fractions. It helps to think of your mixed numbers as pies. The whole number part tells you how many whole pies you have. The fraction part tells you how many more slices of a pie you get in addition to your whole pies. The denominator tells you how many slices each pie is cut into. When you think of it like this, the problem gets easier.

Your job now is to find the total number of slices you have. To do this, you are going to multiply your denominator, the number of slices each pie has, by the number of whole pies you have. This gives you the number of slices that you have in your whole slices. Now you are going to add the numerator of your fraction. This gives you how many more slices of pie you get.

After you have added, you now have the total number of pie slices. You are going to write this number on top of your denominator. Now you know how many pie slices you have and how many slices each pie is cut into. Let's look at how this works in a couple examples.

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