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Using Fractions to Read Decimals

Date: 08/29/2001 at 11:27:24
From: Julius Dorfman
Subject: Reading decimals

I am having trouble reading decimals. Can you please tell me how to 
read in words, decimals such as:


Thank you very much for your help,


Date: 08/29/2001 at 12:10:57
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Reading decimals

Hi, Julius.

Here's one way to keep track of the meaning of a decimal.

Write the decimal, and below it put a 1 (under the one's place in the 
number) followed by a decimal point and a zero for every decimal place 
the number:


Now take out both decimal points, and you have the fraction equivalent 
to the decimal:


So 0.02 means "2 hundredths." Similarly,

    0.02456   002456
    ------- = ------
    1.00000   100000

so 0.02456 means "2,456 hundred-thousandths."

You don't really have to write all this out; just count the decimal 
places in the number, and use that number of zeros to picture the 

What we're actually doing is writing a "fraction" using decimals that 
is equal to your decimal number (since a denominator of 1 doesn't 
change the number); then multiplying the numerator and denominator of 
this number by ten repeatedly until we have two whole numbers and can 
say the fraction.

I hope this helps. Write back if you need any more help.

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum
Associated Topics:
Elementary Fractions

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