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Breaking Down Division when divisor is <1

  1. Oct 22, 2011 #1


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    I haven't been able to figure this out but I am sure it's very simple but I can't understand how to do it.

    If you take 5 x 0.5, that is the same as 0.5 + 0.5 +....

    Alright so how do you break a division problem down? I realize how dividing by a number greater than 1 works, but under 1 I don't get it and if there was a way it broke down I think I would understand it. If you have 5/0.5 you get 10 obviously but how would that break down into simple terms?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2011 #2
    It works exactly the same way: It returns q such that 5 = 0.5q.
  4. Oct 22, 2011 #3


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    This works as you already learned combined maybe with a fancy way of multiplying by or dividing by 1. So, in your concept, you want to know how to handle divisor less than 1. You want to adjust the dividend AND the divisor so that the divisor is a whole number.

    In your example, [itex]\frac{5}{0.5}[/itex], try multiplying both numerator and denominator by 10.

    [itex]\frac{5}{0.5} \frac{10}{10}=\frac{50}{5}[/itex].

    Now, you can handle the process more easily.
  5. Oct 23, 2011 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    For simple arithmetic problems such as this, you can think of division as repeated subtraction. In other wods, how many times can you subtract 0.5 from 5? Pretty obviously, the answer is 10.
  6. Oct 23, 2011 #5


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    That's exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for the help. Thanks to the others who expanded on this as well.
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