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Basic Operations of Decimals

Decimal

What is a Decimal?

A decimal is a number expressing a fraction based on the scale of tens or power of ten. 

When writing down a decimal number, you place the whole number to the left and the fractional value to the right. These are then separated by a decimal point.

Understanding the Fractional Value

Let us imagine the number one divided into ten squares. If you take two parts out of the ten squares, you have a fraction of 2 out of 10. That would then be called two tenths or 2 / 10 or in decimals 0.2

Based on the chart above, if we have the decimal number 1.2, this would be illustrated as:

Addition And Subtraction Of Decimals

Steps when adding or subtracting decimals:

  1. Line up the numbers you are about to add or subtract so that the decimals points are aligned. You may add 0’s where necessary to help guide you.
  2. Add or subtract the numbers as one would usually do.
  3. Place the decimal point in the sum or difference making sure that it lines up to the decimal points of the numbers you are adding or subtracting.

Multiplication Of Decimals

Steps when multiplying decimals:

  1. The decimal numbers are to be multiplied the way you would with whole numbers. You do not need to align the decimals points.
  2. After multiplying the numbers, count the number of decimal places in each factor.
    • The total number of decimal places of all factors will be the number of decimal places in the product.

Division Of Decimals

Steps when dividing decimals when a divisor is a whole number

  1. Before computing, place the decimal point in the quotient aligned with the decimal point of the dividend.
  2. Divide the numbers until you get the final answer.

Steps when dividing decimals when the divisor is a decimal

  1. If the divisor is a decimal, then we first have to move the decimal point to the right to convert it to a whole number.
  2. Note down how many times you move the decimal point. You will need to move the decimal point of the dividend as many times as you moved the decimal points of the divisor. 
  3. Place the decimal point in the quotient aligned with the decimal point of the dividend. And then divide the numbers until you get the final answer.

Dividing decimals when the divisor is a decimal

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  • "Basic Operations of Decimals". Helping with Math. Accessed on March 4, 2024. https://helpingwithmath.com/basic-operations-of-decimals/.

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