# What is a Decimal?

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Basics on the topic
**What is a Decimal?**

## Decimal Place Value – Tenths and Hundredths

What is a decimal? A **decimal number** represents an equal part of a whole, just like a **fraction**. A place value chart can help write decimals. The next section will explain place value for decimals.

Here, we have a place value chart with tenths and hundredths. Since we know a decimal is an equal part of a whole, a number that has a digit in the tenths place hundredths place or beyond is always less than one whole.

You might be thinking: what is the tenths place in a decimal? You also might be thinking: what is the hundredths place in decimals? The next section will focus on decimal tenths place and the decimal hundredths place.

## Decimal Place Value – Tenths

What is Tenths Place? Before we learn about what is tenths place, let’s take a look at where is the tenths place in decimals. The tenths decimal place is the place value to the *right* of the decimal point. Take a look at the illustration below and find where the tenths place in a decimal is and which digit is in the tenths place.

Tens | Ones | . | Tenths | Hundredths |
---|---|---|---|---|

0 | 0 | . |
4 |

Where is the tenths place in a decimal? The tenths place is the place value to the *right* of the decimal point. What number is in tenths place? This tenths place decimal is four tenths because the tenths place value has a four in it. Even though we see a decimal place value chart to hundredths, there is only a number in the tenths place.

What is the tenths decimal place?

If there are four tenths place in decimals, that means one **whole** is split into **ten** equal **parts**. Each part represents one tenth. Since there are four tenths in this decimal number, you can see the base ten block to represent four tenths has four parts shaded in.

## Decimal Place Value – Hundredths

Where is the hundredths place in a decimal? Before we learn about what is the hundredths place, let’s take a look at where the hundredths place value is. The hundredths decimal place is the place value two place to the *right* of the decimal point. Take a look at the illustration below and find where's the hundredths place in decimals and which digit is in the hundredths place.

What digit is in the hundredths place? The hundredths place is the place value two places to the *right* of the decimal point. What number is in the hundredths place? This hundredths place decimal is sixty-two hundredths because the hundredths place has the last digit, which is two in it. As you can see, we can use a place value chart to represent the hundredths place in decimals.

What is the hundredths decimal place?

If there are sixty-two hundredths, that means one whole is split into one hundred equal parts. Each part represents one hundredth. Since there are sixty-two hundredths in this decimal number, below you can see the base ten block to represent sixty-two hundredths has sixty-two parts shaded in.

## Decimal Place Value – Summary

A **decimal number** represents an equal part of a whole, just like a fraction. A place value chart can help write decimals. The tenths decimal place is the place value to the *right* of the decimal point. Tenths means one whole is split into ten equal parts and each part represents one tenth. The hundredths decimal place is the place value two place to the *right* of the decimal point. Hundredths means one whole is split into one hundred equal parts and each part represents one hundredth.

Want to practice identifying the tenths and hundredths place? In this video you can find identifying tenths and hundredths place examples and on this website there are worksheets along with other activities, and exercises.

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Transcript
**What is a Decimal?**

"Atlantis was a complex beautiful city that disappeared one night, many have tried (...) but none have ever found (...) the Lost City." "Axel, do you think the city really exists?" "I mean Plato wouldn't make it all up right; he was a greek philosopher!" "Pssst, hey, I'm Fred and I can take you to Atlantis..." "but FIRST solve my riddle..." What is a Decimal? A decimal number represents an equal part of a whole, just like a fraction. A place value chart can help write decimals. We have the tens place, (...) and ones place... and to the RIGHT of the ones place we have... a decimal point, (...) the tenths place, (...) and the hundredths place. Every place value to the LEFT of the decimal point has a value greater than or equal to one whole... Every place value to the RIGHT of the decimal point has a value of LESS THAN one whole... so we use a decimal point to represent values that are PARTS of a whole. Let's look at one tenth on the place value chart. (...) If we have one tenth... that means one WHOLE is divided into ten equal parts and we have one part. Now, let's look at one hundredth on the place value chart. (...) If we have one hundredth... that means one WHOLE is divided into one hundred equal parts and we have one part. Let's look at one hundredth and one tenth. What do you notice? (...) One tenth, is TEN TIMES bigger than one hundredth! Let's look at the decimal number sixty-two hundredths. How can we represent it using base ten blocks? (...) Since the decimal is sixty-two hundredths, we will use the hundredths block and... we have sixty-two out of one hundred equal parts of one whole, so we shade in sixty-two parts. Next, we have the decimal number four tenths. How can we represent it using base ten blocks? (...) Since the decimal is four-tenths, we will use a tenths block and... we have four out of ten equal parts of one whole, so we shade in four parts. Now that Axel and Tank know the answer to the riddle, let's summarize. Remember (...) a decimal number represents an equal part of a whole, just like a fraction. Every place value to the RIGHT of the decimal point has a value of LESS THAN one whole... so we use a decimal point to represent values that are PARTS of a whole. One-tenth means there is one part out of ten equal parts. One-hundredth means there is one part out of one hundred equal parts. "All right, close your eyes and I will transport you to the Lost City of Atlantis!" "Taaa daaa!" "This isn't the lost city, it's just a model of it!" "Technically, he never said he would take us to the REAL lost city..."