Converting from Percent Notation to Decimal Notation

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  • 0:03 What's For Dinner?
  • 0:33 Convert Percent to Decimal
  • 1:08 DId I Get the Combo?
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Beddoe

Jennifer has an MS in Chemistry and a BS in Biological Sciences.

Knowing how to convert a percent to a decimal can be a useful skill in many different situations. This lesson will show you how to perform that conversion and places where this skill will be helpful.

What's for Dinner?

The other day I was starving, had no food in the house and my wallet was empty. I dug through the pockets of all my pants and grabbed all the change I could find from other places around the house and came up with a total of $4.37.

I hopped in the car and drove to the nearest burger place. The price of a combo is $3.99; it's going to be close. I know that the sales tax is seven percent. So, I have everything I need to figure out if I found enough change to get that combo for dinner.

Convert Percent to Decimal

In order to figure out the problem above, I first have to convert the percent sales tax to a decimal. Before we can do that, we need to talk about what 'percent' means. The word 'percent' means 'per one hundred,' so 50% is 50 per 100, or 50/100. To convert this to a decimal, simply divide the percent by 100 and drop the percent symbol (%). 50/100 = 0.50. An even easier way to do this is to just move the decimal place to the left two places.


Did I Get the Combo?

Now, how on Earth is that going to help me figure out if I have enough money to buy dinner? Well, the first step is to convert the seven percent sales tax to a decimal. Then I can multiply it to the cost of the combo ($3.99) to determine the amount of the tax. When I add the tax to the price, I will get the total amount I have to pay.

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