Math Basics


How are decimal fractions added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided?

Decimal fractions are added, subtracted, multiplied and divided much like whole numbers—but with decimal differences. The following gives some examples: Adding such numbers as 0.3 + 0.2 is simple: 0.3 + 0.2 = 0.5. Adding whole and decimal fractions is also easy: 2.4 + 5 = 7.4. These numbers are also easy to subtract, such as 0.3 – 0.2 = 0.1. Multiplication and division are also similar to regular numbers, although the placement of the decimal point is ever-important. For example, multiplying 24.45 × 0.002 = 0.0489; dividing the same numbers 24.45/.002 = 12,225. (It’s interesting to note here a “mathematical surprise”: In the last example, dividing the small numbers equaled a much larger number—the opposite of what most of us would expect.)


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