Thursday, October 17, 2013

Number System: Adding and Subtracting Decimals

Adding and Subtracting Decimals

Adding decimals is easy if you keep your work neat
To add decimals, follow these steps:
  • Write down the numbers, one under the other, with the decimal points lined up
  • Put in zeros so the numbers have the same length
  • Then add using column addition, remembering to put the decimal point in the answer

Example: Add 1.452 to 1.3

Line the decimals up: 1.452
+ 1.3
"Pad" with zeros: 1.452
+ 1.300
Add: 1.452
+ 1.300


Example: Add 3.25, 0.075 and 5

Line the decimals up: 3.25
+ 5.
"Pad" with zeros: 3.250
+ 5.000
Add: 3.250
+ 5.000

That's all there is to it - just remember to line up the decimals, then add normally.


To subtract, follow the same method: line up the decimals, then subtract.

Example: What is 7.368 − 1.15 ?

Line the decimals up: 7.368
"Pad" with zeros: 7.368
Subtract: 7.368

To check we can add the answer to the number subtracted:

Example (continued): Check by adding 6.218 to 1.15

Line the decimals up: 6.218
+ 1.15
"Pad" with zeros: 6.218
+ 1.150
Add: 6.218
+ 1.150

It matches the number we started with, so it checks out.

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