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Terminating Decimals and Fractions

Terminating Decimals and Fractions

A fraction is really a division: for example: `frac(1)(2)` is another way of writing 1 รท 2, where the horizontal fraction line means divide by. Carrying out the division gives 0.5 as a decimal.

`frac(1)(4)` = 0.25. Multiply this fraction by 3: 3 x `frac(1)(4)` = `frac(3)(4)`, or 3 x 0.25 = 0.75.

Many fractions give a terminating decimal; the division ends after a number of decimal places.

Some fractions do not terminate and the number can be divided forever. For example, `frac(1)(3)` gives a result of 0.333333... This is known as a recurring decimal.

Decimals can be changed into fractions by determining the lowest place for the decimal. For example, 0.46 has a lowest place value of hundredths, so can be written as `frac(46)(100)` (and simplified to `frac(23)(50)`).

Example 1

Write 0.085 as a fraction. Give the answer in its simplest form.

The lowest place value is in the 1/1000ths.

Divide 85 by 1000 to make the fraction `frac(85)(1000)`.

Divide both numerator and denominator by 5 to simplify to `frac(17)(200)`.

Answer: `frac(17)(200)`

Example 2

Write `frac(5)(8)` as a decimal.

`frac(1)(8)` = 0.125. Multiply 0.125 by 5 to get 0.825.

Answer: 0.825