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Place value: FAQ

Frequently asked questions about place value.

What is place value?

Place value refers to the value that each digit in a number has, based on its position. For example, in the number 523, the 5 is in the hundreds place, the 2 is in the tens place, and the 3 is in the ones place.
Here are a couple of the exercises that build off of place value:

What are the different ways we can write numbers?

We can write numbers in standard form, expanded form, or written form. Expanded form breaks a number down to show the value of each digit. For example, 724 can be written in expanded form as 700+20+4. Written form uses words to write out a number. For example, 724 can be written in written form as "seven hundred twenty-four." Standard form is the way we usually write numbers, using just the digits. For example, 724 is in standard form.
Here are a couple of the exercises that build off of writing numbers in different forms:

Why is 10 important in place value?

10 is important in place value because our number system is based on the number 10. This means that when we count past 9 in one place value column, we regroup to the next place value (in this case, the tens place).
Here are a couple of the exercises that build off of using 10 in place value:

How do I compare multi-digit numbers?

To compare multi-digit numbers, we start by looking at the largest digit, or the leftmost digit. If one number has a larger digit in that place, we know that number is larger. If the digits are the same, we move to the next digit to the right and continue comparing until we find a difference.
Want to learn more about comparing numbers? Check out this exercise: Compare multi-digit numbers

Why do I need to know about place value?

Understanding place value is important for many reasons. It can help us add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit numbers. It also helps us understand the value of numbers and compare them. Place value is used in all kinds of real-world situations, from counting money to measuring quantities.

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