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January 28th, 2016, 06:43 AM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Jan 2016 From: Holland Posts: 2 Thanks: 0  Fraction problem
2/3 of a plot of land is garden. 1/5 of the garden is lawn. Find the fraction of the plot of land which is lawn. I thought it would be 1/5 / 2/3 because it's one fifth out of 2/3. So, in my mind, it would have been 1/5 ÷ 2/3 = 1/5 × 3/2 = 3/10. But the answer in the book is 2/15 so it has to be 1/5 × 3/2. What am I missing here? 
January 28th, 2016, 06:59 AM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,972 Thanks: 2222 
The word "of" in this context effectively means multiplication by the specified fraction. Such multiplication is equivalent to division by the reciprocal fraction, but you don't need to use that fact. The garden is 2/3 of the plot. The lawn is 1/5 of the garden, so it's 1/5 of 2/3 of the plot. 1/5 of 2/3 means 1/5 × 2/3, which is 2/15. You incorrectly wrote 1/5 × 3/2. 
January 28th, 2016, 09:33 AM  #3 
Newbie Joined: Jan 2016 From: Holland Posts: 2 Thanks: 0 
I see. Kinda got it all upside down. Thanks!

February 1st, 2016, 06:07 PM  #4 
Senior Member Joined: Jan 2014 From: The backwoods of Northern Ontario Posts: 393 Thanks: 71 
Think of a simple, practical example. You cut an pie in half, and place that half of a plate. You give your friend half of that half. What fraction of the whole pie does your friend get? Obviously, your friend gets a fourth of the pie. So a half of a half is a fourth. That is: 1/2 × 1/2 = 1/4 Frequently we can replace "of" in mathematics by "times". Another example: half of 6 is 3 1/2 × 6 = 3 Last edited by skipjack; February 2nd, 2016 at 04:09 AM. 

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