Fractions Fractions are parts of a whole. Numerator is the top number in a fraction. The numerator is the number of parts being discussed (shaded or unshaded). Denominator is the total number of pieces in a whole. Fractions can also be a part of a group of objects. Adding and subtracting fractions – the denominator remains the same. The only change is in the numerator. Mixed numbers have both whole numbers and fractions in them. This means that you have more than one whole of something. Improper fractions are when a numerator is larger than a denominator. There are several strategies to change improper fractions into mixed numbers.