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les fractions

Fractions in French are formed by combining a cardinal number with an ordinal number. All Fractions are in the masculine form.

one half 1/2un demi
one third 1/3un tiers
one fourth 1/4un quart
one fifth 1/5un cinquième
one sixth 1/6un sixième
one seventh 1/7un septième
one eigth 1/8un huitième
one nineth 1/9un neuvième
one tenth 1/10un dixième
one twentieth 1/20un vingtième
one one hundredth 1/100un centième

how to form fractions

When forming a French fraction, the numerator (part above the line) is based on the cardinal number and the denominator (part below the line) is based on the ordinal number. Here you can find a page covering ordinal numbers. Examples:

  • deux tiers = 2/3
  • trois quarts = 3/4
  • un sixième = 1/6

demie et moitié

The words demie and moitié can cause a bit a confusion. When wanting to express half of a whole (half of the pie, pizza, etc.) use le/la moitié de. For example:

  • J’ai mangé la moité de la pizza. I ate half the pizza.

Use un/une demi + noun to express the following:

  • une demi-heure – a half-hour
  • une demi-bouteille – half a bottle
  • une demi-journée – half a day

using fractions to describe portions

When using to describe portions of a total, the fraction must be followed by de. Here are some examples:

  • trois quarts des étudiants – 3/4 of the students
  • deux tiers des pages – 2/3 of the pages
  • neuf dixièmes de la population – 9/10 of the population
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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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