Åk 6–9

8.1 Expressing small numbers with words
What is a small number?

Before we begin talking about small numbers, we need to decide what we mean by small numbers. We define small numbers as “all positive numbers less than 1 which can be written by a finite decimal number”. Note that our definition of small numbers is not a generally accepted definition of small numbers.

Numbers between 0 and 1 can be expressed in two ways. Either by saying:
“Zero point …”

or by expressing them as parts. We will describe how you can express numbers between 0 and one as respective parts.

Example 1

The number 0.367 can be expressed:

  • "0 point 3 6 7"
  • "367 thousandths"

If you chose to express the number in parts, it is more common to use the latter manner when saying the number, in other words “367 thousandths”.

A good rule of memory when using this way is to start with the last digit in the number and determine which place value this digit has.  In the example above it is the digit 7 and its value is thousandths.  We have 367 thousandths. 

Example 2

The last digit in the number above is 5 which means ten-thousandths. We have 45 ten-thousandths and the number is read “45 ten-thousandths”.