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How to Divide Decimals and Convert Fractions to Decimals

This is a how-to article that helps people understand how to divide decimals and how to convert fractions to decimals.

How To Divide Decimals

When you divide decimals there are four types of division.

1. When the dividend is the only decimal the division is the same as dividing whole numbers. The number of the decimal places in an answer must equal that in the dividend.

Here is an example.

12. 864 / 32 = .402

2. When it is the divisor only that is a decimal, the divisor’s decimal point is taken out and as many zeros are placed to the right of the dividend as there are decimal points in the divisor.

Here is an example.

211,327 / 6.817 = 211,327,000 / 6,817 = 31,000

3. If the divisor and dividend are decimals the decimal point in the divisor is taken out, and the decimal in the dividend is moved to the right as many decimal places as there are in the divisor. If there isn’t enough places in the dividend than zeros have to be added to make up that difference.

Here is an example.

2.62 / .131 = 2,620 / 131 = 20

4. If the divisor and dividend don’t have decimals, the problem could still have decimals. This happens when a dividend is a smaller number than the divisor and when you have to work out a division to a certain number of decimal places. Either way, you write a decimal point after the dividend, add many zeros as possible and divide.

Here is an example.

7 / 50 = 7.00 / 50 = .14

How To Convert Fractions To Decimals

A fraction is able to be changed to a decimal by dividing the numerator by the denominator and doing the division to as many decimal points are needed.

Here is an example.

Change 5/11 to a decimal of two places.

Divide 5.00 / 11

You should get .45 5/11

Decimal equivalents of fractions are commonly used. Here are the most common conversions where the decimal values are rounded to the nearest ten thousandth.

1/2 = .5

1/3 = .3333

2/3 = .6667

1/4 = .25

3/4 = .75

1/5 = .2

1/8 = .125

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