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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:

.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

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