Learn Fractions - How to Convert Fractions into Decimals





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Published on Jan 12, 2011

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Mahalo math expert Julie Clark explains how to convert fractions into decimals.

Method #1

One method of converting a fraction into a decimal is dividing the fraction's numerator (the top number) by its denominator (the bottom number).


If you want to convert 3/8 into a decimal, divide 3 by 8.1. Because 8 can't go into 3, you have to add a zero to 3, making it 30. You can do this by adding a decimal point to 3, then adding a 0. Add the decimal point on the top.2. 8 goes into 30 3 times, because 8 x 3 = 24. Place the 3 right after the decimal point.3. 30 - 24 = 6.Because 8 can't go into 6, you have to add a zero to 6, making it 60. You can do this by adding another 0 after 3.0, then bringing the 0 down to right after the 6.8 goes into 60 7 times, because 7 x 8 = 56. Place the 7 right after the 3.4. 60 - 56 = 4. Because 8 can't go into 4, you have to add a zero to 4, making it 40. You can do this by adding another 0 after 3.00, then bringing the 0 down to right after the 4. 8 goes into 40 5 times, because 5 x 8 = 40. Place the 5 right after the 7.5. 40 - 40 = 0, so there is nothing left over. The answer is 0.375. Thus, the fraction 3/8 is equal to the decimal 0.375. 

Method #2

1. Find an equivalent fraction where the denominator is a power of ten. You can do this by either multiplying or reducing the fraction. If your fraction already contains a denominator that is a power of ten, skip this step.2. Compare the number of digits in the numerator to that of the denominator. For every additional digit in the denominator, go back one decimal place from zero.3. Place the numerator in that decimal place.c

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