WTMaths logo
Dividing Decimals

Dividing Decimals

When dividing a decimal by an integer, use either a short division or a long division method, making sure that the decimal point on the answer line is above the decimal point for the number being divided.

If the number does not divide exactly, add zeroes to the end of the number being divided to obtain the required accuracy: 95.60 is the same as 95.6.

Dividing a number by a decimal should be avoided. Instead, write the division as a fraction with the divisor as the denominator: multiply both top and bottom numbers by 10, 100 or 1000 to remove the decimal from the denominator. Once the divisor is an integer, carry out the division.

For example, 12 ÷ 0.6 can be written as a fraction `frac(12)(0.6) = frac(120)(6) = 20`.

Example 1

Calculate 17.15 ÷ 7.

0 2 . 4 5
7 1 7 . 1 5

Answer: 2.45

Example 2

A bottling plant is bottling a new perfume, and is producing some sample bottles for distribution.  It has allocated 34 litres for the promotion, and each sample bottle can hold 0.08 litres.  How many bottles are needed for the promotion?

This is a division as the 34 litres is being split up into 0.08 litre units.

Start by multiplying the two numbers by 100 to turn the divisor into an integer.

`frac(34)(0.08) = frac(3400)(8) = 425`

Answer: 425

See also Large Numbers and Small Numbers