# In comparing numerical fractions and rational expressions, how do they differ?

embizze | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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A numerical fraction has exactly one value. There are equivalent fractions, but they all have the same value (i.e. they represent the same point on a number line.)

A rational expression may take on infinite values. For certain values for the variables, the rational expression may not be defined. Like numerical fractions, rational expressions can have equivalent expressions; they can also have expressions that agree everywhere except at a finite number of points.

The graph of a (defined) numerical fraction is a point on a number line, while the graph of a rational expression can be a curve in a coordinate system.

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user2761867 | eNotes Newbie

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Thanks so much for your answer. Could you give me an example of a rational expression and numeric fraction, where they are the same and where they are different.

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