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How to Divide Decimals

If you can move a dot and solve a simple division problem, then you can divide decimals as well as any math whiz.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Change the divisor Change the divisor – the number by which the other number, the dividend, is divided – to a whole number by moving the decimal point to the right.
  • Step 2: Move the decimal of the dividend Move the decimal point of the dividend to the right the same number of places as you moved the decimal in the divisor.
  • TIP: After moving your decimal point to its new position, if the dividend is not a whole number, you can still complete your computation.
  • Step 3: Write the division problem Write your division problem with the divisor outside the long division symbol, and the dividend inside of it.
  • Step 4: Place zeros in any empty places Place zeros to the right of the decimal point, in any "empty" places created by moving the decimal place of the dividend.
  • Step 5: Place a decimal above the decimal point in the dividend Place a decimal directly above the decimal point in the dividend – on top of the long division symbol.
  • Step 6: Divide Divide using normal division to complete your computation.
  • FACT: Did you know? A book written in 1579 by the mathematician Francois Viete introduced the modern base-10 decimal system to the world.

You Will Need

  • A pen or pencil
  • Paper

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