Decimal point - Definition with Examples

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What is Decimal Point?

It is a point or dot we use to separate the whole number part from the fractional part of a decimal number. 

A decimal number is a number that consists of a whole number and a fractional part. The decimal point separates the whole number from the fractional part.

Example:

decimal point example 1

In the number 258.16, the decimal point separates the whole number 258 from the fractional part 16, which is 16 hundredths.
 

The decimal point is placed in between the ones and the tenths.

decimal point example 2
 

The whole number is written to the left of the decimal point.

whole number in decimal point

The fractional part is written to the right of the decimal point.

fractional part in decimal point


So, a decimal number looks like:

decimal point
 

The decimal point makes it easy to read a decimal number. We can read a decimal number  in two ways:

1. Using “and” in place of the decimal point:

In this method:

  • The whole number part is read as is. 

  • The decimal point is read as “and”.  

  • Then the fractional part is read as is.

For example, the number 258.16 is read as “two hundred fifty-eight and sixteen hundredths”.

using and in the place of decimal

2. Reading the decimal point as “point”:

 In this method:

  • The whole number part is read as is. 

  • The decimal point is read as “point”.  

  • Then the fractional part is read as individual digits.

For example, the number 258.16 is read as “two hundred fifty-eight point one six”.

reading decimal point as a point
 

  Fun facts

  • The fractional part to the right of the decimal point denotes a number less than 1.  

  • A whole number can also be represented as a decimal number by simply writing point zero ( .0) after the ones digit. For example, we can write 15 can as 15.0

  • The decimal point is also called as a decimal separator.

 
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