Terminating Decimal: Definition & Example

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  • 0:01 What Is a Terminating Decimal?
  • 0:56 How to Recognize a…
  • 2:30 Non Terminating Decimals
  • 3:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: J'aimee Greenlaw
In this lesson, you will learn about the definition of a terminating decimal and walk through several examples. At the end, you'll get to test your new knowledge with a quiz.

What Is A Terminating Decimal?

In case you forgot, a decimal is a number with a decimal point. There are usually numbers to the left and numbers to the right of that decimal point. For example,‚Äč 0.5 and 12.56 are both decimals. Decimals allow us to represent partial amounts of a whole, just like fractions. As a matter of fact, many decimals and fractions are interchangeable so either form can be used.

Today, we are going to focus on one type of decimal, the terminating decimal. What does the word terminate mean? When I hear this word, I always think of the 1984 film, The Terminator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the terminator saying 'Hasta la vista baby' right before he defeated the machine. So, from this we realize that terminate means to bring to an end. In terms of a decimal, it is a decimal that has an end.

How To Recognize A Terminating Decimal

A terminating decimal has a set or finite amount of numbers after the decimal point. For example, you go to the store and buy one t-shirt for $14.99, a pair of shorts for $21.75, and a pair of socks for $3.00. These are all terminating decimals because they end. These examples only have two digits after the decimal point. You go out to lunch and buy a sandwich, chips, and a drink for $5.99. This is another example of a terminating decimal. Generally, all of the money you spend and earn is recorded as a terminating decimal.

Of course, terminating decimals can be longer as well. Let's look at the fraction 1/8. In decimal form it is 0.125, which is a terminating decimal. The fraction 29/200 is 0.145 as a decimal, which is another terminating decimal. 51.202211 is also a terminating decimal because the number ends after the last 1. Terminating decimals can also repeat, but they must still have an end, such as 0.4545.

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