Math Review/ Learn
Jean Montgomery, Austin Community College

Dividing Decimals

Let's first review some terms: divisor, dividend, quotient

a the dividend divided by b the divisor equals c the quotient
3 the dividend divided by 2 the divisor equals quotient

Here's another example. In order to divide decimals, you must remember one important thing: the divisor must be a whole number.

four point two five dividend divided by zero point five divisor equals quotient

In order to make the decimal a whole number you must:

  1. Move the divisor's decimal to the right of the digits to make the number whole.
  2. Then the decimal point in the dividend must be moved the same number of places to the right as the divisor's decimal was moved.
  3. Compute the problem. The decimal point in the quotient is placed directly above the new position of the decimal point in the dividend.


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