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# Place Values in a Decimal and

the Expanded Form of a Decimal.
Given a decimal

5.8147

place value is 1

1
placevalueis
10000
1
placevalueis
1000
1
placevalueis
100
1
placevalueis
10

Place Values in a Decimal and
the Expanded Form of a Decimal.
Given a decimal

5.8147
We can therefore rewrite it in an expanded form
8
1
4
7

5
10 100 1000 10000
which can then be converted to a mixed number
8147
5
10000

Comparing Decimals
Research shows that most students believe that
0.287 is bigger than 0.35
because
a) 0.287 has more digits than 0.35
b) 0.287 is read as “two hundred eighty seven thousandths” which
sounds larger than “thirty five hundredths”, particularly when
they are not familiar with the fact than “one thousandth” is
really smaller than “one hundredth”.

Comparing Decimals
Research shows that most students believe that
0.287 is bigger than 0.35
because
a) 0.287 has more digits than 0.35
b) 0.287 is read as “two hundred eighty seven thousandths” which
sounds larger than “thirty five hundredths”, particularly when
they are not familiar with the fact than “one thousandth” is
really smaller than “one hundredth”.

Ordering Decimals
Given two decimals, how do we determine quickly which one is larger?
The method is rather easy to learn from just a few examples.
Example
Which one is larger, 6.724 or 6.72189 ?
Solution
We first put one of them above the other such that the decimal points are
lined up.

Ordering Decimals
Given two decimals, how do we determine quickly which one is larger?
The method is rather easy to learn from just a few examples.
Example
Which one is larger, 6.724 or 6.72189 ?
Solution
We first put one of them above the other such that the decimal points are
lined up.
In this column, the two digits are also equal, so we
have to keep moving to the right until we can find a
column that has two different digits.
6.724

6.72189

Now we see that the upper digit in the highlighted
column is larger, there for the corresponding
number (i.e. the upper one) is larger than the lower
one.

These two operations are respectively similar to the addition and
subtraction of whole numbers, except that the numbers are aligned by
the decimal points rather than the last digits (counting from the left).
Example
34.16
+ 2.3096
──────

Incorrect

34.16
+ 2.3096
───────

Correct,
and we have to treat any
empty space as a 0.

Multiplying or Dividing Decimals by Powers of 10
Multiplying a decimal by 10n is the same as moving the decimal point
to the right n places, adding place holders if necessary.

eg. 3.7615 × 103 = 3 7 6 1 5

Multiplying or Dividing Decimals by Powers of 10
Multiplying a decimal by 10n is the same as moving the decimal point
to the right n places, adding place holders if necessary.

eg. 3.7615 × 103 = 3761.5
eg. 743.28 × 105 = 74328000.
Dividing a decimal by 10n is the same as moving the decimal point to
the left n places, adding place holders if necessary.

eg. 743.28 ÷ 102 = 7.4328
eg. 3.7615 ÷ 103 = 0.0037615

Multiplication of Decimals
There are two ways to carry out this operation,
(I) Converting the decimals to fractions
Example:
0.65 × 2.417

417
2
100 1000

65

65

2417

100 1000
65 2417
100 1000
157105
100,000

= 1.57105

(II) Ignore the decimal points first and multiply the two numbers
as if they were whole numbers. In the end we insert the
decimal point back to the answer in the proper position.
Example:
0.65 × 2.417 can be first treated as 65 × 2417 = 157105,
the decimal point is then re-inserted to the product such that
“the number of decimal places in the answer is equal to the sum
of the number of decimal places in the multiplicands.”
In this particular case, 0.65 has two decimal places and 2.417 has
three decimal places. Hence their product should have 5 decimal
places, and this means that
0.65 × 2.417 = 1.57105

Division of Decimals
The process of long division is similar to that of dividing whole
numbers with some modifications.
Example: 2.556 ÷ 1.2

12 2 55 6

Step 1. Move the decimal point in the divisor to
the right until it becomes a whole
number.
Step 2. Move the decimal point in the dividend
to the right by the same amount.
Step 3. Put a decimal point above that one in the
dividend. (click)

Division of Decimals
The process of long division is similar to that of dividing whole
numbers with some modifications.
Example: 2.556 ÷ 1.2

213
12 2 55 6
-24
15
-12
36
-36
0

Step 2. Move the decimal point in the dividend
to the right by the same amount.
Step 3. Put a decimal point above that one in the
dividend.
Step 4. Divide as if we are dividing whole
numbers.

Therefore 2.556 ÷ 1.2 = 2.13