Multiplying Fractions with Whole Numbers

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  • 0:05 Fractions
  • 0:57 Multiplying with Whole Numbers
  • 1:49 The Rule
  • 3:00 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.

After watching this video lesson, you will know how to multiply any fraction with any whole number. Learn the one simple rule that will tell you which numbers you need to multiply to get your answer.


Fractions are numbers that show a part of a whole. Fractions are used everywhere! You see them in cooking a lot. For example, in a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, you might see 1/2 teaspoon baking powder or 3/4 teaspoon baking soda. You also see them in math classes and in the sciences.

There will be times when you are asked to multiply your fractions with a whole number. For example, if you had three half pies, you would need to multiply the half by 3 (1/2 * 3) to find out the total amount of pie you have. Also, if you needed to double a recipe so that you would have enough to feed a crowd, you would need to multiply your fraction by 2. So, if the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, you would need to multiply that 1/2 by 2 (1/2 * 2).

Multiplying with Whole Numbers

How do you perform these multiplications? First, you need to turn your whole number into a fraction. How do you do that? Remember that all whole numbers actually are fractions; they are fractions where the denominator is 1. So 2 can be turned into 2/1. 3 can be turned into 3/1. So now when you need to multiply 1/2 * 3, you are actually multiplying 1/2 * 3/1. To perform this operation, you multiply straight across. You multiply the numerators together and the denominators together. What do you get? You get (1 * 3)/(2 * 1) = 3/2. Let's think about this. What happens when you multiply any number by 1? You get the number itself. So the denominator stays the same since you are multiplying it by 1.

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