English Numbers: Fractions and Decimals

  1. Fractions
  2. Decimal Numbers
  3. Singular and Plural with Fractions and Decimals

Fractions and decimals in the English language are used to indicate partial amounts of something. Apart from being used in mathematics, fractions and decimals also have applications in daily life - for example, in recipes (e.g. ½ litre milk).



Take 1/4 cup of milk.

1/4 (one quarter) indicates the necessary partial amount of milk.


Rule 1: We use both cardinal and ordinal numbers to create fractions. The numerator (the numeral above the line) is always a cardinal number while the denominator (the numeral below the line) is always an ordinal number.

Here's how to write and spell fractions in English:

1/3 one third 1/10 one tenth
1/5 one fifth 1/20 one twentieth
1/6 one sixth 1/100 one hundredth
1/8 one eighth 1/1000 one thousandth

Note: There are also exceptions which you should memorize by heart.

1/2 one half
1/4 one quarter

Rule 2: When a numerater is greater than one, we use the denominator in plural by adding an s.

2/3two thirds
3/4 three quarters
5/8 five eighths
4/10 four tenths
7/12 seven twelfths

Rule 3: Fractions can be written in two different ways. You can either put a slash between numerals (e.g, 2/5) or you can write the numerals on top of each other and are separated by a horizontal line. The latter option is mostly used in mathematics.

Decimal Numbers

Rule 3: We write decimal numbers with a decimal point. The digits after the decimal point are said separately.




three point one four one five nine

Singular and Plural with Fractions and Decimals

Rule 4: We use the contruction of a + singuar noun if we want to say exactly what the fraction or decimal refers to and the value is less than one.



3/4 mi

three quarthers of a mile

2/3 cup

two thirds of a cup

Note: The only exception is 1/2. We use it without the word of.



1/2 liter

half a liter

Rule 5: The numeral needs to be followed directly by a plural noun if the value of the fraction or decimal is greater than one.

  • one and a third kilometers
  • three and a half hours
  • two and a quarter cups



Write the fraction as words. 3/8


correct answers.