Fractions & Decimals

Common Questions

How do I convert fractions to decimals?

Great question! Remember that the fraction bar means division. You can convert a fraction to a decimal by dividing the numerator of a fraction by the denominator. Usually, - digits after the decimal point will be enough.

Read below to learn more.

Common Questions

Converting fractions to decimals or decimals to fractions can be tough.

But don't sweat, just use our step-by-step convertors!


Fraction to Decimal Calculator



Decimal to Fraction Calculator


You might be wondering, if fractions and decimals are equivalent, why do we convert between them?

Fractions vs. Decimals

Think of fractions and decimals like Spiderman and Miles Morales. They’re the same person, but sometimes, one identity works better than the other. Depending on the situation, Miles has to choose whether he needs to be Spiderman or just Miles. It's a lot easier to fight crime if you have your Spiderman powers, but they don’t exactly help him blend in at school 🙈.

Similarly, there are situations where it is easier to use fractions and situations where it is easier to use decimals.

Fractions

Using fractions lets us be exact. Sometimes we have to round decimals, so they're not exactly exact. We also use fractions when we want to clearly represent something as a part of a whole.

For example, let’s consider a recipe for tembleque, a popular Puerto Rican dessert that’s a bit like coconut pudding.

To make servings of tembleque, you would need to mix a can of coconut milk, half a cup of sugar, cup of cornstarch, and a tiny amount of salt.

Here, cup means out of parts of a cup. Representing this in decimal form would be difficult without rounding because = To avoid this repeating decimal, we use a fraction so the person making this knows exactly how much cornstarch to use.

Probability and Board Games

Imagine you’re playing Twister with your friends using the spinner below. What is the probability that you get Right Foot, Red on your spin?

To find this probability, we compare the number of desired sections to the total number of sections. Since there is only one section with Right Foot on Red and sections total, the probability of getting Right Foot, Red on our next spin is .

Using a fraction lets us easily compare the section we want out of the sections total, but it would be hard to get this information quickly from a decimal. So, we usually use fractions when solving problems involving probability.

Decimals

Decimals can give us simpler numbers to work with and help us compare two values more easily.

Let’s think about money 🤑

Imagine if we used fractions when dealing with money. It would be hard to tell right away whether of a dollar or of a dollar is bigger. Let’s try converting them to decimals instead!

If we use our Fraction to Decimal Calculator above, we find that of a dollar becomes and of a dollar becomes . It’s a lot easier to compare these numbers when they’re in decimal form, and we can easily tell that is bigger than !

Because decimals are easier to compare and work with, they are often used when dealing with money.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about fractions and decimals, try looking at a few different situations and deciding whether you should use fractions or decimals!

Quick Practice

Miles is taking a multiple-choice test, and he gets stuck on a question that has possible answers. He decides to pick one randomly. You would say that Miles has a _______ of answering correctly"

Nice work! You completed all the questions! 👏🏿👏🏽👏🏻

We’ve looked at a few different situations, but the answer won’t always be clear. For some questions, fractions and decimals will work equally well. Usually, a problem will tell you which one to use, but if not, you will need to decide for yourself.

Just like Miles decides when he needs to mask up and become Spiderman, you will often have to decide when you want to use fractions and when you want to use decimals. So you do you - you've got this!