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N2/L1.4 Introducing decimal numbers You can see examples of decimal numbers being used every time you walk down the high street. For example, banks use them when quoting the current rate of interest or currency exchange rates. Each of these three numbers below has the same three digits, in the same order, yet they’re all different. Take a good look at them: A is a whole number, and would be read as six hundred and twenty five. B contains a decimal point, marking the end of the whole number, and would be read as sixtytwo point five. C also contains a decimal point, and would be read as six point two five (not six point twenty five). The next in the series would be written 0.625. It contains no whole number, and it is usual to begin with a zero before the decimal point in this case. It would be read as zero point six two five. the decimal point marks the end of the whole numbers digits on the left of the point are whole numbers digits on the right of the point are decimal fractions (fractions of a whole number) where there is no whole number, begin with a zero in the units position digits after the decimal point are usually read individually. Writing numbers twenty-seven point five is written 27.5 nine point zero six is written 9.06 one hundred and one point zero zero two is written 101.002 © BBC 2011