Video: Comparing Fractions with Unlike Denominators

Compare the fractions. Which symbol is missing? 3/4 _ 3/8 [A] = [B] < [C] >

02:08

Video Transcript

Compare the fractions. Which symbol is missing? Three-quarters, three-eighths. Is the missing symbol equal to, less than, or greater than?

In this question, we have to compare the two fractions shown, three-quarters and three-eighths. And we have to select the correct symbol to compare these fractions. Is three-quarters equal to three-eighths? Both of these fractions do have the same numerator, three-quarters and three-eighths. So you might be mistaken into thinking these fractions are equal. But we need to look at the denominator of each fraction because the denominator affects the size of the fraction. And our two models help us to see this.

If we take the whole amount and split it into four equal parts, each part would be one-quarter. And if we take the whole amount and split it into eight equal parts, each part is worth one-eighth. We can see that one-eighth is smaller than a quarter. The more equal parts we divide our whole into, the smaller each part becomes. So if one-eighth is less than one-quarter, three-eighths is also less than three-quarters. Three-quarters is worth more than three-eighths.

So the missing symbol is “greater than.” Three-quarters is greater than three-eighths. When we’re comparing two fractions with the same numerator, we also need to compare the denominators because the size of the denominator affects the size of the fraction. The missing symbol is “greater than.”

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