For every three male fish in a
fishbowl, there are seven females. What is the ratio of male to female
fish in the bowl?
We know that a ratio is a
comparison of two different values. In this case, it will be the male
fish to the female fish. Order here is important to
maintain. The ratio of male to female means
the value that comes first will be the number of male fish. There are three male fish for every
seven female fish. And that means we have a ratio of
three to seven. We can write it with a colon in the
middle, 3:7, or in its fraction form, three over seven. Both of these values correctly
label the ratio.
But before we move on, we should
note that that does not mean that they’re only three male fish in the bowl and seven
female fish in the bowl. This only tells us the ratio of
male to female. For example, in this fish bowl,
there are six males and 14 females. If we group three males together
and seven females, we can do this twice. In this case, we have six males and
14 females, which simplifies to three over seven. And so although we can say with
certainty the ratio is three to seven, we can’t say for sure exactly how many fish
are in the bowl.