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Converting Decimals to Fractions


Date: 06/07/98 at 18:35:08
From: Brittany
Subject: Decimals to fractions

I'm going to have a test on decimals to fractions, and my teacher 
hasn't really explained to me so that I understand how to do it. I'm 
stuck at the very beginning of the problem, so you would have to start 
from the beginning.

From,
Brittany


Date: 06/10/98 at 19:47:38
From: Doctor Fred
Subject: Re: Decimals to fractions

Decimals and fractions give a lot of people trouble when they are 
first learning them.

The key to being able to go from decimals to fractions is the place 
values of the decimal. By that I mean tenths, hundredths, and so on.

For example, in the number .123456, the 1 is in the tenths place, the 
2 is in the hundredths place, the 3 is in the thousandths place, the 4 
is in the ten-thousandths place, the 5 is in the hundred-thousandths 
place, and the 6 is in the millionths place.

If you can remember that, then reading the decimal can help you see 
how to write the fraction. For example, suppose we want to write .3 as 
a fraction. Since the last digit is in the tenths place we read that 
decimal as three-tenths. So it is the fraction 3/10.

If we want to do .45, the last number is in the hundredths place so 
the number is 45 hundredths or:

    45
   ---   
   100

Now, we need to write that fraction in lowest terms, and so our final 
answer will be:

    9
   --
   20

For another example, write .012 as a fraction. The last number is in 
the thousandths place so our decimal is 12 thousandths. So, we have:

    12     6     3
   ---- = --- = ---
   1000   500   250

I hope this helps. You can also check out our FAQ on decimals and 
fractions which can be found at:

   http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.fractions.html   

-Doctor Fred,  The Math Forum
 http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Elementary Fractions

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