Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
_____________________________________________
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math
_____________________________________________

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:

.02
.20
.020
.002
.025
.0256
.02456

Thank you very much for your help,

Julius


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 
in 
the number:

    0.02
    ----
    1.00

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

    002
    ---
    100

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 
denominator.

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
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Fractions

Search the Dr. Math Library:


Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
 
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

_____________________________________
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search
_____________________________________

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/