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Understanding place value

Understanding place value

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Tutor: Bilal

Summary

Understanding place value

​​In a nutshell

Place value is used to help read and understand numbers more clearly.


Digit

A digit is a single number that may be part of a bigger number.


Integer

An integer is a whole number.



Sorting whole numbers into their place values

To sort a number into place values, place each digit of the number into its own place value. Start from right to left.


Example 1

Write the number 61683256168325 ​ in place values.


From right to left:


Place value

Example

Read as

Ones (also called units)

55​​

Five​

Tens

2020​​

Twenty

Hundreds

300300​​

Three hundred

Thousands

80008000​​

Eight thousand

Ten thousands

6000060000​​

Sixty thousand

Hundred thousands

100000100000​​

One hundred thousand

Millions

60000006000000​​

Six million


Reading whole numbers

To read whole numbers, you first need to know how to group digits. To group the digits of a number, start from the right (i.e. the units) and place commas after every three digits.


Examples
  • 61683256168325​ becomes 6,168,3256,168,325
  • 5200152001​ becomes 52,00152,001​​
  • 727727​ stays as 727727​​
  • 600200600200​ becomes 600,200600,200​​


Reading whole numbers

Once the digits of a number are grouped like shown above, read the number from left to right in their grouped place value.


Example 2

How is 6,168,3256,168,325​ read?


Looking at the groups from left to right:


The "66​" represents millions. So, it is read as "six million".

The "168168​" is in the thousands section. So, it is read as "one hundred and sixty eight thousand".

The "325325​" is read normally as "three hundred and twenty five".


Therefore, 6,168,3256,168,325 is read as "six million, one hundred and sixty eight thousand, three hundred and twenty five".



Decimal place values

Decimals have their own place values.


  • The first digit after the decimal point is the tenths position.
  • The next digit after that is the hundredths position.
  • The digit after that is the thousandths position.


Example 3

Sort the number 32.14532.145​ in place values:


Place value

Example

Thousandths
0.0050.005​​
Hundredths
0.040.04​​
Tenths
0.10.1​​
Decimal point
..​​

Ones (also called units)

22​​

Tens

3030​​


Reading decimal numbers

To read numbers to the right of the decimal point, just read each digit individually. Read the decimal point as "point".


Example 4

How is the number 32.10532.105​ read?


Read from left to right, reading the decimal point as "point":

32.10532.105 is read as "thirty two point one zero five".


Note: Commas are not used when grouping digits to the right of the decimal point.


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Exercises

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

How do you read decimal numbers?

How do you read whole numbers?

What is a digit?

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