Introduction to Decimals
Our Decimal System lets us write numbers as large or as small as we want, using the decimal point. Numbers can be placed to the left or right of a decimal point, to indicate values greater than one or less than one.
The number to the left of the decimal point is a whole number.
The first digit on the right means tenths (1/10)
As we move further right, every number place gets 10 times smaller (one tenth as big)
As we move left, every number place gets 10 times bigger .
Definition of Decimal
The word "Decimal" means "based on 10" (From Latin decima: a tenth part), and we sometimes say "decimal" when we mean anything to do with our numbering system, but a "Decimal Number" usually means there is a Decimal Point.
Ways to think about at Decimal Numbers
You could think of a decimal number as a whole number plus tenths, hundredths, etc:
Example 1: What is 2.3 ?
- On the left side is "2", that is the whole number part.
- The 3 is in the "tenths" position, meaning "3 tenths", or 3/10
- So, 2.3 is "2 and 3 tenths"
Example 2: What is 13.76 ?
- On the left side is "13", that is the whole number part.
- There are two digits on the left side, the 7 is in the "tenths" position, and the 6 is the "hundredths" position
- So, 13.76 is "13 and 7 tenths and 6 hundredths"
Or, you could think of a decimal number as a whole number plus a Decimal Fraction, in which case we would say that 13.76 was: