1/2 cup of spinach is "one-half cup" of spinach

1/3 is "one-third"

But what do you say for 3/4 and 3/5?

  • To supplement: One can call 3/4 mathematically such as "three divided by four" or simply "three over four".
    – Megadeth
    Jul 26 '14 at 23:39

You call 3/4 "three fourths" or "three quarters", and 3/5 "three fifths".

  • 4
    Just to point out - "Three fourths" is quite an American way of saying it.
    – Niall
    Jul 26 '14 at 3:50

You say "three quarters of a cup" or "three fifths of a cup". In US English you sometimes come across "fourths" instead of "quarters" but that is unusual elsewhere.

It would also be more natural to say, for example, "half a cup of spinach", rather than "one half-cup of spinach".

For other fractions with numerator 1, you would usually say "a third of a cup", "a quarter of a cup", etc.


All these numbers are fractions, which is the answer to the title of your question. The examples you use suggest that you actually want to know how to pronounce these fractions.

In addition to the correct answer by user3724662, let me mention that an expression such as "2/x" is pronounced as "two over x". The use of "over" may also be simpler once the numbers involved become very large (compare "eleven over ninetynine" with "eleven ninetynineths").

  • 2
    In mathematical terms those are fractions. Rational Numbers include both the Integers (whole numbers) and the Fractions. Fractions are a Subset of Rational Numbers. They are also a Subset of Real Numbers and of Complex Numbers and numerous other supersets. Jul 26 '14 at 7:30
  • @ Lyndon White. Rational numbers are defined as fractions: a rational number is (a / b) where a and b are integers and b is not zero. (I shall avoid getting into equivalence classes.) Fractions are an improper subset of the rational numbers rather than a proper subset. By not distinguishing between proper and improper subsets, you give a misleading impression. Integers are a proper subset of the rational numbers, which are a proper subset of the real numbers, and so on. Rational numbers are fractions with an integer numerator and a non-zero, integer denominator. Oct 28 '19 at 17:23
  • 3/4 can be three fourths or three quarters or three over four.
  • 3/5 can be three fifths or three over five.

See the table:

1/2 - one-half or a half or one and a half

1/3 - one-third or a third

2/3 - two-thirds or two over three

1/4 - one-fourth or one over four or a quarter

2/4 - two-fourths or two over four or two quarters

3/4 - three-fourths or three over four or three quarters

1/5 - one-fifth or one over five

2/5 - two-fifths or two over five

3/5 - three-fifths or three over five

4/5 - four-fifths or four over five

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