# Is there, or was there, such a thing as an irregular fraction?

#### AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
12,269
As per the title.

#### Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,167
There are "improper fractions"...

#### djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,081
I don’t think so...

But I don’t know your definition of an irregular fraction.

To me a fraction is a real number that is expressed by a ratio of integers. Otherwise known as a rational number. Any number that isn’t rational is known as irrational. Like π or ε...

But you said irregular. What’s that?

#### AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
12,269
I don’t think so...

But I don’t know your definition of an irregular fraction.

To me a fraction is a real number that is expressed by a ratio of integers. Otherwise known as a rational number. Any number that isn’t rational is known as irrational. Like π or ε...

But you said irregular. What’s that?
I just heard what I thought was an irregular fraction being described as an improper fraction. Google comes up with 'improper' searching for irregular'.
I wondered if the naming had changed since the 60's when I was learning fractions.

#### Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,167
A little digging seems to indicate that sometimes improper fractions are called irregular fractions. I hadn't heard it It was vaguely familiar, but it seems to exist as a term for the same thing.

Last edited:

#### Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,167
I just heard what I thought was an irregular fraction being described as an improper fraction. Google comes up with 'improper' searching for irregular'.
I wondered if the naming had changed since the 60's when I was learning fractions.
I learned fractions at the time too, and it sounded familiar, but I knew improper was the right (current) term. It does seem that irregular gets some use and may be old.

This is interesting:

Look at 1960, particularly in the second, isolated plot.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,397
I was in junior high school in 1960. They have always been called improper fractions. I've never heard them referred to as irregular. In languages with verb conjugation there are a whole class of "irregular" verbs which do not follow one of a limited set of conjugation rules.

#### djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,081
I was in junior high school in 1960. They have always been called improper fractions. I've never heard them referred to as irregular. In languages with verb conjugation there are a whole class of "irregular" verbs which do not follow one of a limited set of conjugation rules.
Just to mention, I’ve NEVER heard them called improper. Just irregular.

#### Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,167
If you look at the ngram charts I posted you can see that improper is much more common but irregular peaks in the 60s.

#### AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
12,269
I was in junior high school in 1960. They have always been called improper fractions. I've never heard them referred to as irregular. In languages with verb conjugation there are a whole class of "irregular" verbs which do not follow one of a limited set of conjugation rules.
Was that UK or US?
I am in UK.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,397
Was that UK or US?
I am in UK.
US -- that certainly might account for it.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,397
Just to mention, I’ve NEVER heard them called improper. Just irregular.
Regional difference is possible. I was in Ohio, Michigan and central New Jersey at that time.

#### visionofast

Joined Oct 17, 2018
105
if it were "friction" ,in sub-atomic world or thermodynamics it'd be a common concept.interaction between particles would claim various kind of irregularity.

Last edited:

#### BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
2,082
As per the title.
No. A fraction is a fraction, is a fraction- which is a rational number.