# Comparing Decimals

A decimal is a period in a number that separates whole numbers from fractions of numbers.  In the number $3.21$, $3$ represents 3 wholes (the portion of the number on the left side of the decimal represents whole numbers) and $.21$ represents 21 hundredths (the numbers on the right side of the decimals represent a portion of a whole).

To understand and work with decimals, you must understand place value and the fact that every digit in a number has a place value and represents a certain quantity (see Place Value lesson for more). Also see the lesson on Writing Numerals as Numbers (Decimals) for a detailed lesson on how to look at decimal place value and name numbers with decimals.

Once you know place value, itâ€™s easy to compare numbers with and without decimals.  Remember, the most important digit in any number is the digit farthest to the left. (Think about it, if you went on a game show and they said that they would give you \$111.11 but you could swap one digit for a nine, you'd swap the hundreds digit in order to get \$911.11, right?)  So, line your numbers up along the decimal (as if you were adding up money), and compare from left to right.

Since the place value of a digit is what determines how much any numeral in that place is worth, it's important to think about place value when you work with numbers with decimals.

• ## Understanding Decimals

1. In the decimal .5621, the digit 2 is equivalent to what fraction?
2. In the decimal .9743, the digit 3 is equivalent to what fraction?
3. In the decimal 7.3874, the digit 8 is equivalent to what fraction?
4. In the decimal 1.6823, the digit 3 is equivalent to what fraction?
5. In the decimal 32.9417, the digit 7 is equivalent to what fraction?
6. In the decimal .2695, the digit 6 is equivalent to what fraction?
7. In the decimal .2729, the digit 9 is equivalent to what fraction?
8. In the decimal .0130, the digit 3 is equivalent to what fraction?
9. In the decimal 56.4319, the digit 4 is equivalent to what fraction?
10. In the decimal .0546, the digit 6 is equivalent to what fraction?
11. In the decimal .0865, the digit 8 is equivalent to what fraction?
12. In the decimal 3456.5, the digit 3 is equivalent to what number?
13. Which of the following numbers is closest to 6?
a. 7
b. 6.004
c. 6.01
d. 5.9
14. Which of the following is closest to 9?
a. 9.0009
b. 9.2
c. 8.975
d. 10
15. Which of the following is closest to 16?
a. 16.201
b. 15.09
c. 16.006
d. 16.1
16. Which of the following is closet to 6.1?
a. 7
b. 6.004
c. 6.01
d. 5.9
17. Which of the following is closest to .5?
a. .05
b. .004
c. .4
d. .51
18. Which of the following is closest to 20?
a. 20.03
b. 20.1
c. 19.98
d. 19