How to Divide Big Numbers

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Dividing big numbers is something that you can do through long division on a sheet of paper. Divide big numbers with help from an experienced mathematics educator in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Marija, and today I'm going to show you how to divide big numbers. So let's take a big number in the thousands like 3,750 and we'll divide that by 150. So we're going to set it up with our long division set up which means that the 150 will go outside of the house and that the 3,750 will go inside. So like any other long division, you take the number on the outside and you ask yourself can it go in to the first digit. Can 150 go in to three. It's can't so we move on to the next number. Can 150 go in to 37? No. Can 150 go in to 375, it can. But now you have to decide how many times. So if you can't think of it right away you've got to do some math on the side and estimate. So if you estimate the number 150 let's say down to 100 or up to 200. To get 100 to go in to estimate this to 400, we go in four times. But we're working with a number that's higher so we want to estimate down a little bit lower. So maybe you think that it's three. So on the side you would try 150 times three. And when you do that, you get 450 so you realize that you've gone too far. You've gone over. So the next number down will probably work. So we try two and when we do two times 150 we get 300. So it's a little bit of trial and error on the side with deciding how many times this big number will go in to 375. But once we find the right number, we follow the same step as long division. 375 minus 300 will give us 75 and now we bring down the next zero. So now again we have 150 in to 750. If you can't do right away in your head it's a little bit of guess and check right. So we're going to guess if we estimate this down to 100 and this down to 700 we'd be looking at seven. But we're going to go a little bit lower since that number is higher. We'll try six. So six times zero is zero, that's 30 and this is 900 so we've already gone too far up. So we're going to try a lot lower. So we're going to try 150 times four. Four times zero is zero four times five is 20 we get 600. So that means we should actually fall right between the two numbers that we tried which is a five and when we do five times 150 you will indeed get 750 and 750 minus 750 is zero so there's no remainder. 150 goes in to 3,750 25 times.


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