Contributor: Briana Pincherri. Lesson ID: 11354
Are you ready to "move up" to dividing numbers that have decimal figures? This lesson "points" out that it's not that hard! There are simple rules (and some short videos and online practice!) to help!
Does dividing decimals come as easily as adding, subtracting, and multiplying with decimals? Are there some crazy rules to follow when dividing with decimals? Try this lesson to find out!
GOOD NEWS!
Dividing decimals is not that tricky, either. At this point, you should have mastered adding, subtracting, and multiplying decimals with lots of practice in the previous Related Lessons in the Easy Decimal Arithmetic series found in the righthand sidebar. It is a natural step to complete division with decimals as well. Let's jump right in to take a look!
The biggest concern with division is that there is one thing you have to look for right off the bat: whether there is a decimal in the dividend, divisor, or both. So let's take a minute to review what those terms mean.
Dividend The total number that is being divided into smaller parts
Divisor The number by which another number is divided
Quotient The answer you get when dividing one number by another
5 
125 

↑ 
↑ 

dividend 
divisor 
125 
÷ 
5 
= 

↑ 
↑ 

dividend 
divisor 
As you can see, it doesn't matter which way it is written — the dividend is 125 because it is the total number that is being divided by something else, and 5 is the divisor because it is the number that is dividing the total.
Now that you know which number is the dividend and which number is the divisor (don't be afraid to look back up here to be reminded!), let's look at how we divide decimals:
Dividing Decimals
If the decimal is in the dividend:
If the decimal is in the divisor:
Example 1:
1.25  ÷  5  =  
↑  ↑  
dividend  divisor 
Do the division. You can ignore the decimal.
2  5  
5  1  .  2  5  
  1  0  
2  5  
  2  5  
0 
MOVE the decimal straight up into the answer!
0.25
Example 2:
125  ÷  0.5  =  
↑  ↑  
dividend  divisor 
Because the decimal is in the divisor, you need to move it until you have a whole number. In this case, just move the decimal one spot right to make it 5.
Since you moved the decimal 1 spot in the divisor, you also have to move it one spot right in the dividend too, which makes it 1250.
2  5  0  
5  1  2  5  0  
  1  0  
2  5  
  2  5  
0  
  0  
0 
250
Go ahead to the next section to see just how well you understood these examples. There will be short videos to watch to see a few more division problems.
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