Using Fraction, Decimal & Percent Charts

Instructor: Cory Haley
In this lesson, we will learn how to use a fraction, decimal, and percent chart. Also in this lesson, we learn how to convert among fractions, decimals, and percents.

What are decimals, percents, and fractions?

A decimal is a number written according to its place value. The decimal point is used to separate numbers from number values less than one (e.g. 0.5). A percent is a specified number within or for every hundred (e.g. 50%). A fraction is a numerical quantity that is not a whole number (e.g. ½ ). Fractions, decimals, and percentages are all ways of depicting a part to a whole number relationship.

As a consumer we interact with decimals, percents, and fractions on a daily basis. Take a moment and look at this example. Bargain World is having a one day sale. Everything in the store is 50% off. There is a shirt you want to buy that costs $50.00. What is the cost of shirt with the 50% discount? In order to find the new price, you would take ½ of $50.00. The new price for the shirt is $25.00.

Well, that is interesting; how did I do that? In this lesson we will learn how to use a fraction, decimal, and percent chart. We will also learn how to convert among the three. Here is an example of a conversion chart.

Fraction Decimal Percent
1/2 0.50 50%
1/3 0.33 33%
2/3 0.66 66%
1/4 0.25 25%
3/4 0.75 75%

Converting Fractions

Take a moment and look at the fraction ½.

Fraction Parts

In the fraction ½, the 1 represents the numerator, which is the number of parts you have. The 2 in the fraction ½ represents the denominator, which is the total parts of the whole. In order to convert a fraction to a decimal, you must do the following:

1. Divide the numerator by the denominator. 1 divided by 2 equals to 0.50.

2. Visually you can draw a whole and divide it into two parts. See that ½ or 0.50 of the whole is shaded in the example below.

One Half Fraction

In order to convert a fraction to a percent, you must do the following:

1. Convert the fraction to a decimal.

2. Multiply by 100, or move the decimal point two places to the right.

3. Add the percent symbol.

In our example we know that the fraction ½ converts to 0.50. Now I can convert 0.50 to 50% by moving the decimal two places to the right and adding the percent (%) symbol.

Converting Decimals

We see decimals daily. Some examples might include money ($2.35), measurement (2.5 gallons), or sports statistics (7.01 minutes). The place value of decimals helps us to read and understand numbers better. Numbers to left of the decimal represent ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, hundred thousands, millions, billions, and so on. Numbers to the right of the decimal represent tenths, hundredths, and thousandths.

Decimal Place Value

Take a moment and look at this decimal 0.75. The 7 is in the tenths place and the 5 is in the hundredths place. If adding the two decimals, my equation would look like this: 0.70 + 0.05 = 0.75. The whole number seventy-five means 75 wholes. The decimal seventy-five hundredths indicates 75 parts out of 100 equal parts (e.g. $0.75 out of $1.00).

In order to convert a decimal to a percent, you must multiply the decimal by 100, or move the decimal two places to the right. 0.75 becomes 75%.

In order to convert a decimal to a fraction you must do the following:

1. Remove the decimal point.

2. Rewrite the decimal as a fraction. The name of the decimal tells us how to convert the decimal to the fraction: 0.75 (seventy-five hundredths) = 75/100.

3. Simplify your fraction if needed by finding the greatest common factor (GCF) for both the numerator and denominator.

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