How to Pronounce & Write Fractions in English

How to Pronounce & Write Fractions in English

Today, let’s have a look at how to read and pronounce fractions in English. Outside of the math class and in the real world fractions are useful for buying things and talking about distance. So let’s begin! Basically, we use cardinal numbers (like 1, 2, 3, 4) to read the figure on the top of the fraction, and ordinal numbers (like third, fourth, fifth) to read the figure on the bottom of the fraction. When we write the fraction in words, we use a hyphen between the cardinal number and the ordinal number. Here are some examples:

  • We pronounce 1/3 as one-third, 1/4 as one-fourth, and 1/8 as one-eighth.

As well, “a” means “one” so:

  • We pronounce 1/3 as a third, 1/4 as a fourth, and 1/8 as an eighth (written without the hyphen.)

In English grammar, ordinal numbers are countable, so you need to add “s” to the word:

  • We pronounce 2/3 as two-thirds, 3/4 as three-fourths, and 6/8 as six-eighths.

We have special words to talk about fractions that have “2” and “4” on the bottom:

  • We pronounce 1/2 as one-half, 1/4 as one-quarter, and 3/4 as three-quarters.

Here are some examples on how you might use fractions in your English conversation”

  • Can I please have  two-thirds of a pound of chicken salad?
  • The shop is just a half mile from here. We can walk there!
  • Please cut this wood into three one and a quarter-inch strips.

Thanks for studying today!


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Free English Pronunciation Lesson with Mp3 Audio: A Bottle Of Red

Free English Pronunciation Lesson with Mp3 Audio A Bottle Of Red

You can listen to the audio of this lesson here:

In American English, and especially here in the New York area, we tend to pronounce things a bit faster and more connected than people do in other parts of the country. Today, I want to show you how we pronounce of when of is used in a noun of noun pattern, and the /t/ sound when it falls in the middle of a word. We’ll get a little help from Billy Joel.

When of is used between nouns, it is generally pronounced like the short /a/ sound as in apartment or /uh/ as in under. For example, the phrase a cup of coffee is pronounced a cup a coffee. Here are a few more examples:

a can of beer a can a beer
a bag of chips a bag a chips
a box of cookies a box a cookies
a glass of wine a glass a wine
a piece of cheese a piece a cheese

The second point today is the /t/ sound. When the letter t comes in the middle of a word, it is usually pronounced like the /d/ in head or read. For example, the phrase a little cat is pronounced a liddle cat. Here are a few more examples:

a small bottle a small boddle
in the attic in the addic
today is a better day today is a bedder day
the hottest day of the year the hoddest day of the year
send a letter send a ledder

So, where does Billy Joel come in? In his hit song, Scenes From an Italian Restaurant, he opens with the following words. Listen to the sound clip and notice how he pronounces the words:

A bottle of white, a bottle of red
Perhaps a bottle of rose instead

The music clip and lyrics are copyright by Billy Joel and used here solely for educational purposes only.

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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Free English Pronunciation Lesson: The /ər/ Sound


You can listen to the audio while reading the lesson below. Be sure to listen and practice!

The /ər/ sound can be tricky because there are several ways to spell this sound. For example:

earth [ear]            bird [ir]            word [or]            curtain [ur]

Words with the /ər/ sound

bird dirt hurt shirt
birthday earth learn sir
church earl lurk splurge
curd fir occur stir
curl firm pearl turkey
curse fur perk turn
curt heard purr word
curtain hurl reword work

Words with similar sounds

all – earl charge – church hall – hurl saw – sir
barn – burn cord – curd hard – heard short – shirt
board – bird core – occur heart – hurt store – stir
born – burn course – curse large – splurge talk – Turk
call – curl dark – dirt lark – lurk torn – turn
card – curd far – fur lawn – learn walk – work
carton – curtain farm – firm park – perk warm – worm
caught – curt four – fir Paul – pearl wart – worth

Sentences with the /ər/ sound

  1. The dirty birds squirmed when Kurt perched on the birch tree.
  2. I heard Burt cursed when he burned his dirty shirt.
  3. Is it worth the work to reword the first bird story?
  4. The third bird in the pearl shirt is a turkey.
  5. Bernie learned to stir the firm worms.
  6. The bird works on Thursday on 33rd Street.

Thanks for studying today. Was this lesson helpful? Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thanks!