Imagine that you and a group of friends are trying to decide what to do for fun this weekend. Three of your friends would enjoy ice skating, but you and two other friends would prefer fishing at the local lake. So you are at an impasse: three vote for skating, and three vote for fishing. In other words, half of your group wants one thing, while half wants the other. Whether you realize it or not, by dividing your group into halves, you are thinking with fractions.
Basically, a fraction describes how a part of a group relates to the whole group. To illustrate, think about a related word: fracture. If you drop a plate on the ground and it fractures into many pieces, you might be worried about picking up each piece to recreate the whole plate, making sure there are no leftover pieces on the ground. The plate fractured into many pieces, but you can still visualize it as a complete unit. Likewise, fractions represent complete groups that have been fractured, or broken apart, in some way. Fractions help us understand how those pieces fit into the original group.