# Fractions in French

- How to write fractions in French
- Plural fractions
- Important French phrases with fractions
- Online exercises to improve your French

## French Fractions

We use **fractions** *(les fractions)* to talk about parts of a whole. They are not just used in mathematics, but also in other day-to-day contexts such as recipes (e.g., ½ litre d’eauhalf a litre of water).

## How to write fractions in French

Fractions that have the numbers 2, 3 or 4 as their denominators (e.g., 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 2/3, 2/4, etc.) are irregular when they are written out or spoken. The numbers 5 and higher are expressed as ordinal numbers when they are denominators.

1/2 |
un demi | 1/10 |
un dixième |

1/3 |
un tiers | 1/20 |
un vingtième |

1/4 |
un quart | 1/100 |
un centième |

1/5 |
un cinquième | 1/1000 |
un mllième |

### The word *demi*

When *demi* comes before a noun, we connect the two with a hyphen. In this context, *demi* does not change; it does not agree with the noun in terms of number or gender.

- Examples:
- un demi-litre d’eauhalf a litre of water
*(masculine)* - deux demi-litres d’eautwo half-litres of water
*(masculine plural)* - une demi-heurehalf an hour
*(feminine)*

When *demi* comes after a noun, we place the conjunction *et* between the two. If the noun is feminine, we use *demi* in its feminine form *(demie)*. *Demi* has no plural form; it agrees with the noun in terms of gender but not in terms of number.

- Examples:
- une heure et demiean hour and a half
- une bouteille et demiea bottle and a half
- trois heures et demiethree and a half hours
*not:*~~trois heures et demies~~

## Plural fractions

If the numerator is higher than 1 and the denominator is higher than 2, we use the plural form of the denominator.

- Examples:
- 2/3 → deux tiers
- 3/4 → trois quarts

## Important French phrases with fractions

Check out the table below to avoid some typical mistakes:

Don’t say … | Say this instead: |
---|---|

un quart d’année | trois mois / un trimestrethree months |

une demi-année | six moissix months/half a year |

trois quarts d’année | neuf moisnine months/three quarters of a year |

trois quarts des étudiants sont absents | les trois-quarts des étudiants sont absentsthree quarters of the students are absent |

à demi-prix | à moitié prixhalf price |

la demi-ville | la moitié de la villehalf of the town |