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

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

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.

Described image
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.

Active content not displayed. This content requires JavaScript to be enabled.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Activity 3

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


Described image
Figure 16
Described image
Figure 17
Described image
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.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus