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Decimals and Place Value

Place value tells us the mathematical value one digit of a number has to another digit of that number.

Moving left each place value position is 10 times greater the position to its right.

Moving right each place value position is 10 times less the position to its left.

Without a decimal a number can never be less than 1 and have value.

Smaller Place Values are digits to the right of any digit:

Arrow showing direction place value is decreasing.

.286

Tenths position (2/10)

Hundredths position (8/100)

Thousandths position (6/1,000)

Together, having place value and decimals, numbers can be as large or small as needed.

Larger

Smaller

Larger place value direction arrow. Smaller place value direction arrow.

17,472,593.28675844

ten million position

(10,000,000 times unit position)

ten millionths position

(4/10,000,000)

Larger Place Values are digits to the left of any digit:

Arrow shows direction of greater place value.

472

Unit position number (1 x)

Tens position number (10 x unit position)

Hundreds position number (100 x unit position)

472.

or

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