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Video: Converting Mixed Numbers to Decimals in Word Problems

Tim Burnham

The Siberian tiger can grow up to 10 4/5 feet long. Express this length as a decimal.

02:06

Video Transcript

The Siberian tiger can grow up to ten and four-fifths feet long. Express this length as a decimal.

So we’ve been given a mixed number in our question and we have to convert it to a decimal. Now a mixed number is a whole number plus a fractional number. And in our case, ten is the whole number and four-fifths is the fractional part. Now the whole part, ten, is gonna be the same in the decimal as it was in the mixed number. So for this particular question, we’re only really interested in converting four-fifths into a decimal number. And then we’re going to add ten to it.

The easiest way to convert fractions into decimals is if you can find an equivalent fraction with ten, or a hundred, or a thousand, or so on as the denominator. And in this particular case, that’s gonna be quite easy to do. To convert five to ten, I simply have to multiply it by two. So to keep that as an equivalent fraction, I’m going to need to multiply the numerator by two as well. So four times two is the numerator and five times two is the denominator. And that’s gonna give us, four times two is eight and five times two is ten, eight-tenths.

Now if we think about the place value of each of our decimal places, we’ve got one for the units, we’ve got the first decimal place is tenths, the second decimal place is hundredths, and the third decimal place is thousandths, and so on. We’ve got eight-tenths. So we’ve got an eight in this column, which means we’ve got no hundredths and no thousandths. We also, in this particular case for eight-tenths, haven’t got any units. So this fractional part of our number is nought point eight.

Now we’ve just got the last little bit to do. We know that the whole part of our whole number was ten and the fractional part is nought point eight, so we add the two together to make ten point eight for our answer. And don’t forget that our units are feet.