GCSE Maths Revision: Numerators, denominators and expressions

29th March 2017

New GCSE Maths Syllabus
ALGEBRA - What is the numerator, denominator, expression? - the Key Facts
In order to do well in the New GCSE Maths Syllabus, it is crucial that you understand and
learn the definitions and meanings of keywords that relate to algebra.
Let’s take a look at each of these keywords:
● A numerator is the top number in a fraction. Such as 3 is the fraction ¾.
● A denominator is the bottom number in a fraction. It shows how many parts there
are. Such as 4 is the fraction ¾.
● Operators are the symbols, such as times (x), divide (%), plus (+), and minus (-).
● An expression is numbers, symbols and operators grouped together. This group
shows the value of something.
Across all examination boards, AQA, WJEC, Edexcel and more, you must also be able to
turn a sentence or procedure into an algebraic formula.
● Translate "the sum of 9 and x" into an algebraic expression.
This translates to "9 + x"
You must remember that when you are writing out an expression, "less than" is the opposite
way round to how it is written in a sentence.
● Translate "7 less than y" into an algebraic expression.
This translates to "y – 7"
When multiplying in an expression, the number is always first and the letter is always last.
● Translate "x multiplied by 8" into an algebraic expression.
This translates to "8x"
When dividing in an expression, the number or letter could come first or last, depending on
what the question is.
● Translate "7 divided by b" into an algebraic expression.
This translates to "  7 / b "
● Translate "the quotient of x and 4" into an algebraic expression.
This translates to "  x / 4 "
To learn more about what a numerator, denominator and expression are, and how to turn a
sentence into an algebraic expression, check out our ‘What is the numerator, denominator,
expression?’ song now!


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