Dividing Real Numbers

Dividing Real Numbers

In a set of numbers, an operation under which a pair of elements (a, b) in this set, is made to correspond to a number q of this set so that this relationship is true: a ÷ b = q or a = b × q.

The result of a division operation is called the quotient.

The operation of division also translates other concepts such as successive subtraction, comparisons between quantities, sharing, a ratio, etc.


Many symbols are used to represent a division operation, depending on the context:

  • ab (The colon is commonly used to express a ratio between the numbers a and b).
  • a ÷ b (This symbol is also called an “obelus” and it is commonly used in arithmetic in primary (elementary) school or elsewhere when solving arithmetic and non-algebraic calculations).
  • a/b (The slash is used to represent fractions online; it is not very common in math texts, but it is present everywhere in technology).
  • \(\dfrac{a}{b}\) (This horizontal bar is used in fractional notation to represent the division of a by b in a numerical or algebraic expression).

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