After completing this unit, you should be able to:
Each place in a number has a different place value. This holds true both before and after the decimal. Below is a chart that shows the different place values in a number. As we look at this diagram, notice the spelling changes from the places to the left of the decimal point (which represent places for whole numbers) and the decimal places to the right of the decimal point.
So, for the number 127.5369, there is a 1 in the hundreds place, a 2 in the tens place, a 7 in the ones place, a 5 in the tenths place, a 3 in the hundredths place, a 6 in the thousandths place, and a 9 in the ten thousandths place.
When expressing decimals, it is important to use the correct language. When reading and writing decimals, there are two things you should keep in mind:
Let's work through these steps of writing out in words a decimal given numerically.
|1.2||one and two tenths|
Note the use of the word and to signal where the decimal point is in this number. When you wish to read or write out a decimal, you should:
Let's try an example to illustrate these steps.
How would you write the following number: 12.25?
The answer is twelve and twenty-five hundredths
The number to the left of the decimal is 12, or twelve, so we start out with: twelve
After adding the and we have: twelve and
The number to the right of the decimal is 25, or twenty-five. After this step we have: twelve and twenty-five
The last digit, a 5, is two places right of the decimal, which is the hundredths place. We must add this on to the end of our answer. This gives us: twelve and twenty-five hundredths
Below are a few more examples of some decimals written out.
Look through this list; then refer back to the steps above to
be sure you understand how each is done. Remember, simply write
the number as it appears, and add the appropriate ending to represent
The 4 is in
the thousandths place, so is read as four
The zeros that we have added are called place holders.
Note the difference between 0.003 and 0.03. This illustrates the use of zero as place holder.
|0.123||This decimal is written as one hundred twenty-three thousandths|
|245.18||This decimal is written as two hundred forty-five and eighteen hundredths|
Now let's look at writing decimals numerically.
In this section we will learn to take a decimal stated in words and write it out in its numerical form. To do this:
If needed, you can use the chart shown in the first section of this unit to help you write out decimals. Let's work through an example using the steps above.
Write out the number thirteen and twenty-seven thousandths.
The ending here is thousandths, so there will be a decimal.
The statement in front of the and
is thirteen. This means the whole number in front of the decimal
is 13, so we have:
|Our ending is "thousandths," so the last digit is three places to the right of the decimal point.|
|Twenty-seven, written 27, occupies two spaces so we place this number so that it occupies the last two spaces to the right of the decimal point.||
|In the diagram above, we see that there is one space still open between the decimal and the number 27. This space is filled with a zero as a place holder.||
The number thirteen and twenty-seven thousandths is written
Now let's try practicing reading and writing decimals. This will help make sure you understand the last two sections of this unit.