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Comparing Decimals
By Lisa
Williams
January
27, 2002
Comparing
decimals: How to figure out which is greater:
One book I have says that when comparing decimals with different names, change them to decimals having the same name. To state this in Mississippian English, make sure all the decimals have the same amount of numbers after (or to the right of) the decimal point. You do this by adding zero's to the end of the decimals if necessary. Look to the examples below. Another thing I find helpful is to either say the names of the decimals or write out their names as I have in the examples. It makes no sense at all to me if I called these decimals: 0.09 zero point zero nine
Instead be sure to use their place value names 0.09 is ninehundredths
Add zero's to make all the decimals have the same place value name. In Mississippian English you are changing them all to thousandths since that is the lowest place value of the decimals given. All of them now have 3 numbers after the decimal point. 0.09 becomes 0.090 or
90 thousandths
SO you have 0.09 becomes 0.090 or
90 thousandths
Now you can plainly see
which is least and which is greatest.
If I added more than one zero to 0.09 making it 0.0900 then this decimal would read 900 tenthousandths because the last zero was in the 10,000th's place. You could keep going and add still more zero's 0.090000 making this read 90,000 millionths. Let's practice:
Compare these decimals to find the larger one. Remember that the decimal must have the same amount of numbers after the decimal point, thereby having the same place value name BEFORE you can compare them correctly. Which is larger?
Now you can either say
which is greater 0.50 (50 hundredths) or 0.51 (51 hundredths) by saying
their names to yourself or you can line up the decimals and tell at a glance
which is greater.
I personally prefer the lining them up and adding zero's method but my oldest daughter used both till she got it figured out. 7.) 0.453 or 0.4506 8.) 1.16 or 1.6 9.) 0.29 or 0.229 10.) 3.5 or 3.49 11.) Write in order from
smallest to largest:
a._______
b._______ c.________ d.________ e. ________ f.__________
Answers:
7.) 0.453 or 0.4506
0.453 is bigger 8.) 1.16 or 1.6
1.6 is bigger 9.) 0.29 or 0.229
0.29 is bigger 10.) 3.5 or 3.49
3.5 is bigger 11.
Line up your decimal places first
Your smallest decimal
place is thousandths so you change them all to thousandths.
Now you can see that they go in this order: a) 0.025 b) 0.25 c) 0.67 d) 0.829 e) 1.32 f) 1.67

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