How to Pronounce & Write Fractions in English

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Today, let’s have a look at how to read and pronounce fractions in English. Outside of the math class and in the real world fractions are useful for buying things and talking about distance. So let’s begin! Basically, we use cardinal numbers (like 1, 2, 3, 4) to read the figure on the top of the fraction, and ordinal numbers (like third, fourth, fifth) to read the figure on the bottom of the fraction. When we write the fraction in words, we use a hyphen between the cardinal number and the ordinal number. Here are some examples:

  • We pronounce 1/3 as one-third, 1/4 as one-fourth, and 1/8 as one-eighth.

As well, “a” means “one” so:

  • We pronounce 1/3 as a third, 1/4 as a fourth, and 1/8 as an eighth (written without the hyphen.)

In English grammar, ordinal numbers are countable, so you need to add “s” to the word:

  • We pronounce 2/3 as two-thirds, 3/4 as three-fourths, and 6/8 as six-eighths.

We have special words to talk about fractions that have “2” and “4” on the bottom:

  • We pronounce 1/2 as one-half, 1/4 as one-quarter, and 3/4 as three-quarters.

Here are some examples on how you might use fractions in your English conversation”

  • Can I please have  two-thirds of a pound of chicken salad?
  • The shop is just a half mile from here. We can walk there!
  • Please cut this wood into three one and a quarter-inch strips.

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