Numbers: Getting to grips with division
Numbers: Getting to grips with division

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Numbers: Getting to grips with division

8 Dealing with remainders

How do you deal with divisions where there is a remainder and there are no more digits you can carry to? In most cases you will need to express your answer as a decimal number rather than as a whole number plus a remainder.

Take the example of 518 divided by 8.

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Figure 15

This calculation leaves a remainder of 6 but there seem to be no more digits to carry the remainder over to. But think of 518 as actually being 518.0. The decimal point is always there in any number, it’s just that, normally, it’s not written in if it only has zeros after it. So 518 can be written as 518.0 or 518.00, or as 518 with any number of zeros after the decimal point.

So if you insert the decimal point and a zero after 518, you can carry the remainder 6 over and put it in front of the zero, making it 60. Click on each step in turn to see how to finish the calculation.

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Activity 3

Click on ‘Reveal discussion’ to see all the individual steps at once.

Discussion

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Figure 16
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Figure 17
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Figure 18

As long as there is a remainder, you can keep on adding zeros after the decimal point, continuing either until the division works out exactly or you have as many decimal places as you need.

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