How to Change Mixed Numbers Into Whole Numbers

Updated February 21, 2017

The words "mixed" and "whole" in reference to numbers are common terms used in math classrooms ranging from upper elementary school through college. A whole number stands on its own, without a fraction or decimal attached to it. When you count to three, for example, you are using whole numbers -- 1, 2, 3. A mixed number is a combination of a whole number and a fraction, such as 5 3/4. You can convert a mixed number to a whole number through a simple process called rounding.

Write down the mixed number. For example, let's use 5 3/4.

Convert the fraction portion of the mixed number to a decimal. Divide the numerator (the top number) by the denominator (the bottom number). In our example, divide 3 by 4 to get 0.75.

Add the decimal to the whole number. In this case, add 0.75 to 5 to get 5.75.

Round the number containing the decimal to the nearest whole number. If the number to the right of the decimal is 5 or greater, round up to the next whole number; if the number is 4 or less, round down. So our mixed number 5.75 becomes the whole number 6. If it had been 5.4, for example, you would have rounded down to 5.

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Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.