Converting Fractions to Decimals

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When converting fractions to decimals, the process is a straightforward long division exercise. Convert fractions to decimals by dividing the numerator by the denominator with help from a math teacher in this free video on fractions in math.

Part of the Video Series: Fractions & Proportions
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Video Transcript

So, how do you convert fractions to decimals? Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang. I've been teaching college math for nine years, and we're here to do exactly that. Now, when you convert fractions to decimals it is actually a straightforward long division exercise. The only thing you have to keep in mind of is, of course, the steps and a couple of details that we'll talk about very soon, so let's do one real quickly here. Suppose you want to find out what three fourths is as a decimal. Well, like I said earlier it's a long division problem. What you do is set up the long division structure. Now, the numerator is always going to go inside, and the denominator is always going to go on the outside. So, what you really have is you have to divide four into three. Now, you and I both know that's really not really going to happen because four doesn't go into three whole, so what you want to do is you're going to add more zeros so that you can see exactly where we're going here. Now, because you know that you need more zeros you do need to put a decimal as kind of a place holder, so you put a decimal down there on the inside, and you're going to put a decimal up there and ,basically, add at least one zero to see exactly what three fourths is as a decimal. So, because you know four does not go into three four goes into three zero times. So now, you're going to move onto the next step and ask yourself four goes into thirty how many times? Well, you'll know that four goes into thirty, that's going to be seven times. What you do after that is, like we said before, straightforward long division. Seven times four is twenty eight. Since you already have the decimal there you can just go ahead and subtract. Thirty minus twenty eight is going to be two. Now, you know four doesn't go into two, so go ahead, and add another zero to see if you're going to be able to have a number that will divide evenly. Now, four goes into twenty five times, so four times five is going to give you twenty, so you have twenty down there and when you do the subtraction it's going to be zero. Now therefore, three fourths is equal to zero point seven five. So, as long as you know to convert from a fraction to a long division exercise you are going to be fine. Just keep in mind the numerator is always going to be on the inside, and the denominator's going to be on the outside of the long division structure. So, I'm Jimmy, and here's how you do convert from fractions to decimals.


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