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Learn Adding and Subtracting Decimals

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Welcome, young mathematicians, to the fascinating realm of decimals! Decimals are special numbers that help us deal with parts of a whole. 

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Learn Adding and Substracting Decimals with Smartick

Decimal Numbers

Decimals in Real Life

Steps to Add Decimals

Steps to Subtract Decimals


Decimal Numbers

Decimal numbers are a way to represent parts of a whole or numbers that fall between two whole numbers. They are written with a decimal point, which separates the whole part from the fractional part. For example, 3.5 and 0.75 are decimal numbers. The decimal point helps us understand the position and value of each digit.



Decimals in Real Life

adding and subtracting decimals

Decimals play a vital role in our everyday lives. They are used in various real-life situations, such as:

  1. Money: Decimal numbers help us count and manage money, as prices and amounts often include fractions of a dollar or a cent.
  2. Measurements: Decimals are used to measure length, weight, volume, and more precisely. For instance, when measuring the length of a pencil, we may find it to be 14.5 centimeters long.
  3. Sports: Decimals are used to record scores and statistics in sports. For example, a basketball player’s free-throw shooting percentage might be 0.875 (87.5%).

Steps to Add Decimals

Adding decimals is similar to adding whole numbers, with just one additional step. Follow these steps to add decimals accurately:

  • Step 1: Align the decimal points: Write the decimal numbers one below the other, aligning the decimal points vertically.
  • Step 2: Add the digits: Start adding the digits from the right, just like adding whole numbers. Add the digits in the same column vertically, moving from right to left.
  • Step 3: Carry over any excess: If the sum of the digits in a column is equal to or greater than 10, carry over the excess value to the next column.
  • Step 4: Write the decimal point: Place the decimal point in the sum directly below the decimal points in the original numbers.

Let’s work through an example to illustrate the process: Example: 3.25 + 1.7 3.25 1.70 4.95 So, 3.25 + 1.7 equals 4.95.


Steps to Subtracting Decimals

Subtracting decimals follows a similar process to adding decimals. Here’s a quick summary of the steps:

  • Step 1: Align the decimal points: Write the decimal numbers one below the other, aligning the decimal points vertically.
  • Step 2: Subtract the digits: Start subtracting the digits from the right, just like subtracting whole numbers. Subtract the digits in the same column vertically, moving from right to left.
  • Step 3: Borrow if necessary: If the digit being subtracted is larger than the digit above it, borrow from the next column.
  • Step 4: Write the decimal point: Place the decimal point in the difference directly below the decimal points in the original numbers.


Frequent Asked Questions

Q1: Can you add decimals with different numbers of decimal places?

A1: Yes, you can add decimals with different numbers of decimal places. Simply align the decimal points and add the digits as usual.

Q2: Is it necessary to align the decimal points when subtracting decimals?

A2: Yes, it is essential to align the decimal points when subtracting decimals to ensure accuracy in the calculation.

Q3: Can I mix addition and subtraction of decimals in a single problem?

A3: Absolutely! You can combine addition and subtraction of decimals in a single problem. Just remember to follow the order of operations (performing addition/subtraction before multiplication/division).

Q4: Are there any shortcuts to adding or subtracting decimals?

A4: While there are no shortcuts, practicing regularly will make adding and subtracting decimals easier and quicker over time.

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