How to Turn Decimals Into Fractions in Lowest Terms

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Decimals and fractions are similar mathematically because they both express the relationship of a part to a whole. A fraction in its lowest terms is also referred to as "simplest form." This means that the numerator (top number) and denominator (bottom number) cannot be divided evenly any further by a common number. You can easily convert a decimal to a fraction in its simplest form by performing a few simple calculations.

  • Remove the decimal for numbers that have a zero to the left of the decimal. For instance, if you have 0.97, your first step would be to remove the decimal and then drop the zero as well. If there is a number larger than zero to the left of the decimal, just disregard it for the meantime and drop the decimal.

  • Place the numbers that were to the right of the decimal over 10 or a multiple of 10. This will depend on how many digits were to the right of the decimal. If there was only one digit, you would place it over 10. For example, 0.5 would become 5/10, and 0.7 would become 7/10. For each digit past the first one to the right of the decimal, add an extra zero. For instance, 0.75 would be 75/100 and 0.843 would be 843/1,000.

  • Divide the fraction by the greatest common factor. This is the largest number that will evenly fit into the numerator and the denominator. For example, if you have 0.65, you would convert the figure to 65/100. The largest number that fits into both of these numbers is 5, so you would divide the numerator and denominator of the fraction to get 13/20.

  • Place numbers 1 or greater that may have been on the left side of the decimal to the left of the fraction. For instance, if you had 5.5, you would convert the 0.5 to 5/10, which reduces to 1/2. Then you would write the final answer as the mixed number 5 1/2.

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