Unit and non-unit fractions

Home learning focus

Learn how to identify and write unit and non-unit fractions.

This includes:

  • one quiz
  • two interactives


Did you know that there are different types of fractions?

The two types that we are looking at are called unit fractions and non-unit fractions. Both unit and non-unit fractions show us how much of the whole we are talking about.

Unit fractions

A unit fraction is a fraction where the numerator (the number on the top of the fraction) is 1. The denominator (on the bottom) can be any other whole number. A good way to remember it is by remembering that unit means 1!

Here are some examples of unit fractions: ½, ¼ and ¹⁄₁₀

Can you think of any other unit fractions?

Non-unit fractions

A non-unit fraction is a fraction where the numerator is greater than 1. The denominator can be any whole number.

Here are some examples of non-unit fractions: , ⁷⁄₁₂ and ¾

Can you think of any other non-unit fractions?

Example 1:

Emma and Sophie shared a pizza that was cut into 6 pieces.

Sophie ate of the pizza and Emma ate of the pizza.

Which of these two fractions is the non-unit fraction?

Look carefully at the numerators. If it’s a non-unit fraction, we’re looking for a number that isn’t 1, so is the non-unit fraction. That means is a unit fraction.

Example 2:

Take a look at this rectangle that has been split into 10. Some of the squares are different colours.

  • ¹⁄₁₀ squares is yellow.
  • ⁴⁄₁₀ squares are orange.
  • ⁵⁄₁₀ squares are red.

Which colour represents a unit fraction?

Let’s look at the numerators. Remember, unit means 1 so look for the fraction that has 1 as the numerator.

Yellow represents the unit fraction since it is ¹⁄₁₀ of the rectangle.


Activity 1

Play this quiz to test your knowledge of unit, non-unit and mixed fractions.

Activity 2

Can you highlight the unit fractions? Click on the hand icon to get started. Please scroll through the text to see all the options.

Activity 3

Can you highlight the non-unit fractions? Please scroll through the text to see all the options.

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources.

More Maths Lessons
BBC Teach
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