Help with Decimals: Converting to Fractions
Here Come Decimals!
You're faced with a decimal. You shouldn't really be surprised, you face them all the time, namely with money. I promise, they really are easy to work with!
Decimals are interchangeable with fractions. That seems shocking, considering they look so different. Sometimes we use decimals because it simply makes more sense. For example, if you have $4.67, you wouldn't say; “I have four dollars, and sixty seven one hundredths of a dollar.” That doesn't sound right, does it? Nor would you write that you have four dollars and “67/100.” You would instead use a decimal that stands for the same amount.
Now that we know decimals are interchangeable with fractions, how do you change decimals into fractions? Well, we're going to break it down for you right now!
How Do You Turn a Decimal Into A Fraction?
- As with any problem, you're going to need to write everything down step by step. So first, write down the decimal as divided by one. We're going to work with .67, since it was already mentioned.
(Side note, It will be much simpler for you to write the problems the other manner you might have seen, going vertically. That is going to make it easier for you to keep track of your work and understand when you make an error. You can, however, write it whatever way you find most comfortable. Just don't let yourself get caught up on silly errors.)
- Now that you've done that, multiply both number by ten for every place after the decimal point. This means you're going to have to use your units. Since we have two numbers after the decimal point, we have gone out to the hundredths place. That means we're going to have to multiply the top and bottom numbers by one hundred.
.67x100/1x100 Work out that equation!
This comes out to; 67./100 Cool, now we have a whole number, which is way easier to work with!
- You're not really done yet. We're going to have to reduce this fraction.
- However, ours worked out so that it doesn't reduce down any farther than that. We've put it down in the lowest fraction. So we're going to take another fraction and reduce it.
- Here's an easy one; 75/100
- Find the biggest number that will go into both those numbers evenly. In this case, the answer is 25. Divide it out.
25/75 and 25/100
- You have 3 and 4. So your reduced fraction is; 3/4
- See? Easy!
This all seems like a lot of steps, but like with anything, practice makes perfect. Soon, you won't have to write down every single step and double check your work, you'll be able to do it in your head! This is a very valuable thing to have, so practice practice practice!