In the independent particle model, the total wave function is expressed as a linear combination of products of single particle wave functions. Fractional parentage coefficients give the part of the expression depending on the symmetry properties of the wave function. An operator is introduced which picks out the antisymmetric part of any n-particle wave function. The operator is given explicit form, and an explicit formula for the fractional parentage coefficients is deduced. The total fractional parentage coefficients can be split into a part depending on the orbital vectors, and a part depending on the spin (and isotopic spin) vectors. The separate parts can have symmetries other than total antisymmetry. Operators are introduced which pick out states of definite symmetry from any state. The operators are given explicit form, and explicit formulae for orbital, or spin, fractional coefficients are deduced. Detailed results are given for the three, four and five particles cases.