M

Give me a real life example where you would want to know

9 Answers
What is a quarter divided by a third? This is 1/4 divided by 1/3, not 1/4 divided by 3. I can't think when I would ever use it in real life.
B

I can see this maybe being used in recipe calculations: "The recipe only yielded 1/3 of what I needed! How much do I really need in place of 1/4 cup of onions?" But most people would skip dividing fractions and go on and multiply 1/4 by 3, which gives the same result (3/4).

1/4 ÷ 1/3 = 1/4 * 3/1 = 3/4


You are probably more likely to see this show up in ratio problems where you have a fraction on both sides of an inequality: 6/x = (1/4) / (1/3)
Perhaps this word problem would fit that: Sue is a gardener who normally plants a 6 yard row from her 1/4 ounce package of pea seeds. This year the packages have 1/3 ounce peas for the same price! What is the length of the row Sue will be able plant from the larger package?
6/x = 3/4
x = 8 yards

(Of course, you could also have set your ratios as 6 /(1/4) = x / (1/3) and obtained the same answer).

Regardless of how much stretching you have to do to find a "real life" problem for this basic math exercise -- and it is basic, even though many struggle with the concept of division of fractions -- you will see fraction division frequently in higher math courses. So it is valuable to conquer the procedure so that it is automatic to think "2(x-4) over 1/3...oh yeah, invert fraction = multiply top by 3... so that's 3*2(x-4)" and progress smoothly through the work.

Complicated math problems may not show up in everyone's day to day life, but they help train the brain to think logically...and that is valuable in itself.

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M

When you divide a fraction you have to flip the divisor so it is 3/1 in fraction terms. .75 or 3/4 dividing by a fraction just means multiplying by its reciprocal - aka flipping the divisor

So 1/4 dividied 1/3 is 1/4 x 3/1 = 3/4

You can't explain dividing by a fraction in physical terms
dividing by a fraction doesn't mean anything with 'stuff'

It's just a mathematically consistent way of saying the same thing, but i can't think of anything physical you could map it to, your brain just restates it in terms of 'stuff'

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B

I'm trying really hard to find an actual application for this: 1/4 divided by 1/3. Here goes:

Lets say 3 people are responsible for bringing food supplies to make lunch for our Super Bowl party. Each person (again, 1 of 3) has been asked to bring 1/4 C Beans, 1/4 C Salsa, and 1/4 Sharp Cheddar Cheese to make the Bean Dip. How many cups of beans, salsa, and cheddar cheese are in the whole recipe? The answer would be 3/4 cups of each. Boy, that's a stretch and a half. Does it kind of work?

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C

Well, if you are making a recipe, and you only want to make one-third of the recipe, if might call for a quarter cup of milk, and then you would need only one-third of the quarter cup of milk.

Or if you had a quarter cup of cinnamon red hots, and wanted to share them with two other people....that would be another example.
Mohawk20 1/4 divided by 1/3 is exactly the same as 1/4 divided by 3---in both cases you are finding 1/3 of 1/4.

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H

Unfortunately, there isn't necessarily a real life application for every single math problem that you will ever do in school. The point of learning them, however, is to be able to use the techniques and principles and apply them to the more complex mathematical problems that you will face in real life. If for no other reason, pay attention now so that you can help your kids when they get there. Who knows, they may end up a rocket scientist.

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M

My daughter was doing the sum 1/4 divided by 1/3, this is equal to 1/4 times 3 which equals 3/4. I'm trying to find a real life question for which you would want to know this fact.

I understand that you would want to divide a quarter of a pizza between 3 people, that's 1/4 divided by 3, but I can't think when you would want to divide by a third.

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K

I think this is where the phrase, "oh just eyeball it" came from. I loathe MATH. Especially measuring. I can't measure to save my life. I'm exhausted at the mere thought of figuring this out.

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M

The point of learning is not about being able to use a certain specific math problem, learning is about understanding and gaining the methods in which to solve real world complicated problems.

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I

Well this question is pretty easy as I had to answer it when I was making that cake the other day. So a real life example would be any food recipe.

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