How to Multiply One-half of a Percent

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Multiplying one-half of a percent needs to be accomplished in a very specific way. Multiply one-half of a percent with help from an experienced teacher and tutor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Fractions & Percentages
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Hi I'm Beth. I'm a math teacher and I'm going to show those of you who are interested how you might multiply by half a percent. To begin with it will be easy to just look at how you multiply by percents and the real world reason why you might want to do this is because you might have a percentage discount and you might want to figure out how much that store is really saying your price will be decreased. So say you find a pair of shoes that are $56 but they're 15 percent off. So the way you go about multiplying by percent is simply saying times 15 percent but this doesn't look very good in an equation does it? So instead we're going to turn this 15 percent into a fraction of 15 percent, again 100 and cent actually mean the same thing, Latin, Latinwise, there's a root there, so 15 percent and then you can go ahead and turn that into a decimal, 15/100 is the same as 15/100ths, also. Now let's get back to 56 times 15/100ths, that's easy enough to do. You simply go through the multiplication algorithm. You can go ahead and take that 0 off because it doesn't actually make a difference and it's cleaner here. So 5 times 6 is 30, 5 and 5, 25, 3 more is 28, I drop my 0s and the one is in the tenths place, 1 and 6, that's a 6, one and 5, that's a 5. It is time to add, 8 and 6 is 14, 7 and 8, fantastic, my shoes are $840 off, no. We have to get back to the fact that there was a decimal right here and that decimal needs to be reflected in the decimal. That decimal was one, two place values in and so we will put one two place values in there will be a decimal. So actually those $56 shoes are $8.40 off. We're dealing with dollars, put our units in, fantastic, that's how we can multiply by a percentage. Now if you wanted to multiply by half of 1 percent. Let's first look at what that is, 1 percent there, so half a percent would be .5 percent and if you wanted to multiply that you would need to do the same thing we did up here where we said well .5 percent is the same as .5/100 or .5 divided by 100 and when we divide by 100, we're moving it two place values out so we'd actually have divided by 005, it's in the thousandths place now. We started from the tenths, divided by 100 now we have 5 thousandths. So if you want to multiply by half a percent, go through this same formula using .005.

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