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May05

What do people mean by “a Quarter”?

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Have you ever been told or have you ever read, “It was a quarter of the class,” or “It took me a quarter of what I thought,” or “I have an attendance rate of 25%.”  What do we mean by “quarter?”

Today we will discuss a quarter: What it is and what we use it for.

Let’s imagine a conversation between the fruit vendor and your mom or dad:

  • Parent:  Hello! Good Morning.
  • Vendor:  Good Morning. What would you like?
  • Parent:  Well, a pound of strawberries for after dinner and a quarter pound of those nice, ripe tangerines.
  • Vendor:  Alright! May I also interest you in some grapes? Yesterday they were 2 dollars a pound and today we have a 25% discount!
  • Parent:  Wonderful! Well, give me a pound, thanks!

The first time our word appears is with a quarter pound. What do we mean by a quarter? Imagine that a pound of tangerines is 8 tangerines:
quarterThen to find out how much a quarter of a pound is, we have to divide it by 4:
quarterIf a pound of tangerines is 8 tangerines, then a quarter of a pound is two tangerines. That is, we have to divide the number we would like to find a quarter of by four.

quarterOr another way that is the same is multiplying one quarter by the amount that we want to find the quarter of.
quarterSo if for example, our friend Peter tells us:

  • I thought that 20 people would show up at my birthday party, but only a quarter of that amount showed up.

How many of Peter’s friends went to his birthday? Divide by 4:

quarter5 friends went to Peter’s Birthday party.

Let’s go to the second part of the problem:

The fruit vendor said the grapes “were 2 dollars a pound and now have a 25% discount.” How much does a pound of grapes cost now? To find the 25% discount, we have to multiply by

quarterThen:
quarterThat is, the fruit vendor has discounted price by $0.50, so the pound of grapes will end up costing:
quarterToday a pound of grapes costs $1.50!

Now look …

quarter

So if we multiply by 25%, it will be the same as multiplying by a fourth … finding 25% is the same as finding a quarter!

If you want to keep learning about this subject, we have a whole post dedicated to halves, thirds and quarters.

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