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Math Help - Need a reason for writing improper fractions in mixed number form in answers.

  1. #1
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    Need a reason for writing improper fractions in mixed number form in answers.

    The title perhaps already explains my question but what is the mathematical reason for writing ones answer "five quarters" to "one whole and one quarter" ? Simplifying answers is of course useful but mixed number form. All the math textbooks in our schools tells our students to do it, why?

    Pardon my language.

    -Wilbur
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  2. #2
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    Re: Need a reason for writing improper fractions in mixed number form in answers.

    As such there is no any reason. But reading improper fraction say 75/4 miles or km or L any other unit of measure, do not give exact idea of number you want to say,
    but 75/4 = 18 3/4 give you the exact or approximate number. I think you have understood what I mean to say (Sorry can not exaplain in proper words)
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  3. #3
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    Re: Need a reason for writing improper fractions in mixed number form in answers.

    Thank you.

    Well Im at ease with writing answers in mixed number form when calculating chocolate bars, pizzas and so on, but even in plain algebra, say simplifying rational expression, there seems to be a consensus of writing answers in mixed number form. If there is no mathematical or pedagogical reason for it, why do it. And why do textbooks insist on teaching students this habit?
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    Re: Need a reason for writing improper fractions in mixed number form in answers.

    the very term "improper fraction" is abhorrent to me. math is about CLARITY, not social graces.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Need a reason for writing improper fractions in mixed number form in answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deveno View Post
    the very term "improper fraction" is abhorrent to me. math is about CLARITY, not social graces.
    It's not as bad as the term "vulgar fraction".

    Anyway, the main reason students are expected to write improper fractions in mixed number form is so that they gain an idea of what fractions with a numerator greater than the denominator look like, and so that they can grow to understand that a fraction is really the act of dividing the numerator by the denominator.
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