**Division of decimals**

**Unfortunately I don't have the software, if it exist,**
**to type a long division symbol. Therefore I will**
**rely on illustrating division as if it were a fraction.**
**This is valid since the fraction bar does mean division.**
**ex 4 divided by 2 will be illustrated as
4**

**Dividing by decimals is similar to dividing**
**by whole numbers except that we don't leave**
**decimals in the divisor. ex. 3.468
is**

**How can we arbitrarily move the decimal point?**
**Doesn't that change the value that the problem**
**represents? Let me try to explain.**
** **
** What is the answer if you multiply a number**
**by 1? Does the value of the number change?**
**The answer is that the value doesn't change.**
**ex 178 x 1 = 178, 4.67984 x 1 = 4.67984.**
**Any number multiplied by 1 gives an answer**
**that has the same value as the original number.**
**Lets go back to the problem 3.468
. We**

** Changing from one unit of measure to another.**

**How many feet in 24 inches?**

** 1 foot equals 12 inches.
Division tells us how many **

**of
the divisor is contained in the dividend.**
**So divide 24 inches by 12 inches and your answer**
**is 2 This answer tells us that we have two**
**12 inch segments in 24. Since one 12 inch segment**
**equals 1 foot 2 segments equal 2 feet. Notice we divided 24 inches**

**by
12 inches not by 1 foot. The numbers must in the same measurement. **

**If you**
**have 6 inches how many feet do you have? We still**
**divide 6 inches by 12 inches to find how**
**many feet in 6 inches. The answer is 0.5 feet or 1/2 foot. **
** Lets use the metric system. Will the procedure change?
NO!**
** How many centimeters (cm) are in 40 millimeters (mm) ?**
**Well 1 cm = 10 mm. Thus divide 40 mm by 10 mm and**
**we get an answer of 4 which means there are four 10 mm
segments **
**in 40 mm. Therefore there are 4 cm in 40 mm. Same thought process as we used in the**
**above example with feet and inches. How many cm in 7 mm?
answer**
** **

**Dividing by 10 or a power of ten is the reverse procedure**
**of multiplying by 10 or a power of 10.**
**Remember 10 x .43 = 4.3**
**
100 x .43 = 43**
**
1000 x .43 = 430 notice what happens to the**
**
decimal point.**

**When you divide by 10 or power of 10 the decimal points**
**moves to the left and you fill in any empty**
**place value columns with zeros.**
**
ex. 43.78 divided by 10 = 4.378**
**
43.78 divided by 100 = .4378**
**
43.78 divided by 1000 = .04378**
**How many place to the left did I move the decimal point**
**compared to the number of zeros in the**
**divisor?**
**Try these examples 1). 78.65 divided by 10 =**
**
2) 78.65 divided by 100 =**
**
3) 78.65 divided by 1000 =**
**
4) 78.65 divided by 1,000,000 = answer**
** **
** return to content**

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