Video: Finding the Difference between Two Decimals in a Word Problem

Kathryn Kingham

The table shows the top three finishers in barrel racing at the Livestock Show and Rodeo. What is the difference in times between first and second place?

02:36

Video Transcript

The table shows the top three finishers in barrel racing at the Livestock Show and Rodeo. What is the difference in times between first and second place?

In barrel racing, the rider who goes the fastest through the course wins. The table shows each rider’s time in seconds. Hannah finished in 15.87 seconds, Scarlett finished in 16 seconds, and Natalie finished in 16.03 of a second. This means Hannah placed first, Scarlett placed second, and Natalie placed third.

We’re comparing first and second place. To find the difference between first and second place, we need to subtract the second place time of 16 seconds and the first place time of 15.87 of a second. To subtract, we make sure that decimal places are lined up. And then we begin all the way on the right.

We can’t subtract seven from zero. So we need to borrow. But we can’t borrow from this zero. So we need to move to the left again and borrow from our units place. If we take one unit away, we have five units and 10 tenths. From those 10 tenths, we take away one tenth, leaving us with nine tenths. And now, we have nine tenths and 10 hundredths.

And now, we’re ready to go back to the subtraction. We now say 10 minus seven equals three. Moving to the left, nine minus eight equals one. Bring down the decimal. Five minus five equals zero and one minus one equals zero. We found the difference to be 00.13 of a second.

Scarlett was 00.13 of a second slower than Hannah. The difference between first and second place was 00.13 of a second.

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