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How to Perform Division: Steps & Examples

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  • 0:03 What Is Division?
  • 0:40 How to View Division
  • 1:07 How to Divide Two Numbers
  • 2:09 One More Example
  • 2:55 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.

Watch this video lesson to learn how you can divide. Division is one of the basic operations of math. It is one of the fundamental operations that all higher mathematics depends upon.

What Is Division?

Division is one of the basic operations of math. As such, you need to understand how to divide in order to grow in your math skills and understanding. So, what exactly is division? We can define division as telling us to separate something into parts.

The symbol for division is the line with a dot above and a dot below the line. We can also write division using a slash between the two numbers. The second number, the number after the division symbol, is the number that tells you how many parts to separate the first number into.

The division symbols.
division symbol

How to View Division

You can think of division as sharing something with a group of your friends. This kind of sharing makes sure that everybody gets an equal amount. For example, if you had 6 candies that you wanted to share with 2 friends, you would give each friend 3 candies so that each would get a fair share of the candies. This is what division does. It tells you how to share what you have equally among your friends.

How to Divide Two Numbers

Now, let's see how we divide two numbers. Let's divide 12 by 5. We can picture sharing 12 candies with 5 friends. We start by giving each friend one candy at a time. We want everybody to get the same number of candies, so we count carefully.

After the first round of passing out candies, everyone has 1 candy in hand. After the second round, everyone has 2 candies in hand. At this point, I see that I only have 2 candies left. There's not enough left for me to share with everyone.

When this happens, my answer will have a remainder part that tells me how many I have left over after having shared what I can equally among my friends. So, my answer for 12 divided by 5 is 2 with a remainder of 2. I can write this as 2 R2 where the 'R' stands for remainder, or the leftover part.

One More Example

Let's look at another example. See if you can work it out yourself at the same time. Our problem is 14/2. What does this equal?

We visualize this problem as asking us to share 14 candies equally among 2 people. How many candies will each person have when I am done distributing the candies?

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