If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

### Course: Arithmetic (all content)>Unit 6

Lesson 4: Rewriting decimals as fractions

# Rewriting tricky fractions to decimals

Learn to convert the fraction, 17/93 to a decimal. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• When you get confused about which to divide by, numerator or denominator, imagine it like this. "The Cowboy and The Horse" this is a trick I learned in grade school where you imagine the numerator as the man and the denominator as the horse. The man goes inside the house to get some water and the horse stays outside. For example: 1/5
the 1 is the cowboy, and the 5 is the horse. The cowboy goes inside: /1 ; and the horse stays outside: 5/ ; therefore, 5/1. If my words were sort of confusing at all, which I'm sure they were, I'm sorry, try to understand to the best of your ability.
• If you are confused, the top number or numerator should go under the house while the denominator (bottom number) goes outside.
(1 vote)
• I cant get any energy points from this video, all other videos in section Decimals are fine. :)
• Well i think not all of us have the problem because i got 850 energy points
• If I divide 10 by 3, I get 3.3333 and continuing. Does it have a name in mathematics?
• That figure you got is called a repeating decimal. It can also be called a rational number, but that term also encompasses all whole numbers, and all repeating decimals.
• how do you convert mixed numbers to decimals.
• You first make it into an improper fraction then do what Sal shows in the video.
• Make 50 3/8 into decimal
• Is there a reason you use multiple zeros before needed behind the decimal point on each problem?
• A lot of the time you will be doing this to fractions where the numerator is smaller than the denominator. This means you will need to have at least one extra zero right from the start. You can either keep adding them as you go, or decide how many places you want to find at the beginning. The more places you find the more exact your answer will be, but there is a diminishing return; the farther out to the right you go, the less important the digits are. Usually three or four are enough to be getting on with, but pay attention to the question in case it tells you how far out to work it.
• so for example what happens if u get a into a situation where you have to convert a fraction that also has a number next to the numerator?
• How come this is such an old video? Surely something so fundamental and high-traffic as long division is important to get to a high quality of clarity?

In isolation is not at ALL clear how Khan produces this method of division using remainders - after going elsewhere to learn the actual details step-by-step it makes a lot of sense but here it's presented as a complete black box - just trust me it works.

I find it so frustrating that people approach complex arithmetic algorithms like this as though they're the simplest things out there. There are more things going on which need to be done in very specific sequence here than in much more 'complex' subjects down the line.

I really feel like this blasé approach to teaching fundamental arithmetic techniques is what turns so many away from maths so soon in their lives. Arithmetic is NOT EASY; it may be simple once you know your way around, but something being simple doesn't necessarily make it easy.

This method of long division comes up again later when dealing with polynomials, and I recall my lecturer during this time basically threw material at us and told us 'its just long division' - what!?