Finding Place Values in Whole Numbers

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  • 0:02 Whole Numbers
  • 0:40 Place Values
  • 2:08 Finding Place Values
  • 3:14 Example
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will be able to find the location of any place value that you are given. You will also be able to identify them in any whole number.

Whole Numbers

In math and in real life, we come across whole numbers, our counting numbers plus 0, on an almost daily basis. Going around town, you will see whole numbers on the speed limit signs on every street. You see numbers such as 25, 35, and 45. In math lessons, you see all kinds of whole numbers, from small numbers, such as 1 and 2, to large numbers, such as 1,234 or 8,984,987,342.

Place Values

The way a whole number is written is always based on place values, the location of the digit. Each digit in a whole number has a certain place value that depends on its location. They all follow the same pattern. What is this pattern? Let's look at an example.

Let's look at the number 123 to begin with. Each digit has a place value name. The 3 is in the units or ones place. The 2 is in the tens place. The 1 is in the hundreds place. Do you see something interesting about these names?

Yes, these names correspond to how large the number is at that point if it were a 1 and all the digits to the right were zeroes. If we had a 1 in place of the 2, we would have a ten in that place. Likewise, if we had a 1 in the place of the 3, we would have a one in that place.

What do you think the place value of the number 4 is in this example? 4,567. That's right, the 4 is in the thousands place. If we replaced the 4 with a 1, we would have a thousand. We keep following this pattern for each and every digit that we have. One thing you have to remember is that place values start from the ones place on the right and increase as we go to the left. This goes in the opposite direction than your reading direction.

Finding Place Values

Once you know how place values work, it becomes very easy to find them in any whole number you are given. This is a skill that you will need as you work your way through your math lessons. Many times, you will see references to place values. So, if you understand place values and how to find them, these references will make that much more sense.

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