### What do you get when you add a whole number like 1, 2, 3, or anything else to one of the good old-fashioned proper fractions that you’ve come to know-and-love such as 1/2 or 1/3? You get what’s called a mixed fraction. What exactly do mixed fractions look like? How can you convert them into normal everyday fractions? And when do you need to bother doing so? Stay tuned because those are exactly the questions we’ll be answering today.

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## What Are Mixed Fractions?

### For example, the improper fraction 3/2 can be written as the equivalent mixed fraction 1-1/2 (read aloud as “one-and-a-half” or “one-and-one-half”). By the way, the dash here isn’t a subtraction sign; it’s there to make it clear that this is the mixed fraction 1-1/2 and not the improper fraction 11/2! A bit of thought should convince you that both of these numbers—1-1/2 and 3/2—do indeed represent the exact same quantity. This fact is fairly obvious if you think about the two fractions in terms of pizzas or pies. The first, 1-1/2, represents 1 whole pizza plus 1/2 of another pizza stuck together. The second, 3/2, represents 3 different pizza halves stuck together. In the end, both represent the same total quantity of pizza.

Every mixed fraction is just an improper fraction written a bit differently.