We can describe numbers smaller than one by using decimals or fractions. Today, most systems use decimals, but it is still useful to know how to read and say simple fractions in English.

Look at these examples of fractions:

We write: We say:
½ a half OR one half
¼ a quarter OR one quarter
¾ three quarters
a third OR one third
two thirds
a fifth OR one fifth
three fifths
an eighth OR one eighth
five eighths
one and a half
five and three quarters

Although the system of fractions is not used much these days, we commonly use a few simple fractions in everyday speech, for example:

Note that after "one and a half", the noun is plural:
  • Go straight on for one and a half kilometres. (OR kilometre and a half)
  • We had to wait for one and a half hours. (OR hour and a half)