10 Examples Of Direct Proportion In Real-Life

We use a lot of mathematical concepts and operations in our daily lives and usual routines. A lot of our jobs, too, are dependent on performing these mathematical functions. In this subject, proportion refers to the relationship between two quantities. 

Comprehending these direct proportions helps a student understand the ratio between two quantities that has to be such that both increase and decrease proportionally and at the same rate in order to be proportionally direct. There are times when the word proportional is used without the word direct; just know that they have the same meaning.

We have all seen instances in real life wherein two quantities relate to each other directly. And this is the significance of direct proportions in our quotidian life. We will further elucidate such practical examples which are applicable in the real world.  

Real-life instances employing direct proportion

Learning through real-life examples will give students an insight into how one can learn through situations that happen in real life. Below are a few examples teachers and parents can use to teach children in a better way.

1. Wages of a daily worker

 Wages of a daily worker

A wage worker gets paid daily on the basis of the number of hours that he has worked. Suppose he gets his average wage for working 8 hours in a day. Now, if he works more than 8 hours, his daily wage will increase. At the same time, if the worker works less than 8 hours on any given day, his daily wage will decrease, and he will not be paid fully. We can clearly notice the change in wages and how direct proportion is applied to the situation because the wages of the worker is directly proportional to the number of hours he has worked. 

2. Cost of fruits and vegetables

Cost of fruits and vegetables

The cost of fruits and vegetables that we buy is dependent on the quantity we purchase. For instance, let us say that the cost of 2 kg apples is 100 bucks. Now, if we buy 4 kg apples, the amount will increase to 200 bucks. On the other hand, if we purchase 1 kg of apples, the amount will reduce to 50 bucks. Here, we can say that the cost of apples is directly proportional to the number of apples purchased.

3. Time taken by students to complete homework

 Time taken by students to complete homework

The homework that students get is also directly proportional to the time they need to put in. Suppose it takes a student 1 hour to complete 10 math questions. Now, if on any given day the teacher gives more than 10 questions, the student will take more time to complete the homework. At the same time, if the teacher gives less than 10 questions, the time taken by students to complete the homework will also reduce. This shows how the given homework is directly proportional to the time taken to complete it.

4. Fuel consumption in a car

Fuel consumption in a car

To drive a car, we need to fill it with fuel. The more we drive, the more fuel is needed. For example,  a person who travels 15 km by car daily from office to his home has a consumption of around 3 liters of petrol. Now, if on one specific day the person needs to travel from his office to meet a client, he covers a distance of more than 15 km. Now the consumption of fuel will also increase with each extra kilometer that he drives. We can easily observe how distance traveled by car and fuel consumption is directly proportional to each other.

5. Storage quantity

 Storage quantity

The quantity of any product directly relates to the boxes required for its storage. For example, let us say that 1 box can store 10 oranges. So, now when the number of oranges increases, we will require more boxes. If we need to store 30 oranges, we would require 3 boxes to store them. On the other hand, when we have fewer oranges, we will require fewer boxes. It shows the direct relationship between the number of oranges and the number of boxes required to store them. 

6. Food made in a hostel 

 Food made in a hostel 

The food that is made in a hostel is directly proportional to the number of people in the hostel eating the food. Let us say that there are 20 people in a hostel and each person eats 4 chapatis. Now if on any given day 5 people leave the hostel, the number of chapatis made will decrease. On the contrary, if 5 more people come into the hostel, then the number of chapatis will increase. The direct relationship between them is readily apparent.

7. Goods manufactured by a machine

Goods manufactured by a machine

The number of goods manufactured is directly proportional to the number of machines. For example, in a factory 2 machines can manufacture 20 units of a particular item in a day. Now, if there is a glitch in one machine only 10 items will be manufactured on a particular day. However, if one more machine will be added to the total machines, the number of items will increase to 30 units. We can clearly notice the direct relationship between them. 

8. Number of students and sections in a class

Number of students and sections in a class

The number of students in a particular batch is dependent upon the number of sections it has. For example, there are 40 children in each section of each class. Now, suppose there are 240 students in a batch, so in total there will be 6 sections. On the other hand, if the number of students gets reduced to 200, the number of sections will be 5. This shows the direct relationship between the number of students in a batch and the number of sections it has.

9. Production of crops

Production of crops

The production of crops is directly dependent upon the land it is planted. If more area of land is covered with a particular crop then the quantity of that crop will be more. At the same time, if less land is available, then the crops planted will be less. The direct relationship between the number of crops and the land area it is planted on is evident.

10. Earnings in a grocery shop

Earnings in a grocery shop

The earnings in a grocery shop are directly proportional to the number of customers purchasing goods from them. If the number of customers decreases, their sales will also decrease, which in turn will decrease their earnings. However, if the number of customers buying groceries from them increases, their earnings will also increase. Clearly, they have a direct relationship with each other.

How to teach direct proportion effectively?

Direct proportion is an essential topic in mathematics that we constantly use in our daily life. It is important for children to learn this topic effectively to be able to understand it. Teachers and parents can use various ways to teach direct proportion effectively to children. 

1. Manipulatives

Using manipulatives such as abacus helps the students to learn more effectively as they can touch and see the numbers. This lays a strong foundation for doing questions mentally in the future. Manipulatives help students learn by allowing them to move from abstract reasoning to concrete experiences. Apart from this, they build the students’ confidence by giving them a way to test and confirm their reasoning.

2. Engaging Worksheets

While there is no denying that the blackboard method and the textbook knowledge are irreplaceable, many a time, worksheets work tremendously well for students. These worksheets, especially if they have attractive visuals and graphics entice the students and encourage them to solve these sheets, which not only builds a strong foundation and understanding of the concept but also quizzes them to check their mastery of the concept or topic. 

3. Quiz game

Kids love to play games! Quizzes can be a fun way to test the knowledge of the student, and help them gain confidence about the particular concept. Basically, when teachers, educators, and parents organize quizzes, these lead to a gamified approach of teaching, and evaluating students, which not only helps teachers understand the grasping ability of students but also clears the doubts and apprehensions that a student might have about the topic. 

4. Real-life example task

The teachers can give the children a task to identify real-life situations where they are able to find direct proportion examples. This would enhance their creativity and observing skills. It will also make them understand the topic in a much better way. Moreover, teachers can explain by giving real-life situations to students where they can relate the concept with everyday tasks so that students can grasp and master the concept smoothly. 


Taking examples from the real world for math topics makes it much easier to understand. Direct proportion is something we see in our daily life. Our brains process the information faster when we learn from practical life situations. It is easy to memorize and understand the concepts that we see in reality rather than just reading in textbooks. A good observer will always observe such examples in their everyday life. As a teacher, one should always indulge the children in activities that involve observing and analyzing real-life situations. 

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