It tells you that 3 is a part of whole 8. It also tells you that for every 3 units of objects/people, there is a corresponding 8 units of another objects/people. It's not just a numerator or denominator, or division. It tells you something. For example in a class, 3/8 of students passed the long test. It means three students out of eight students in a class passed the test.

**three students out of every 8 students**

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