How Do You Divide Whole Numbers by Decimals?

To divide a whole number by a decimal number, move the decimal point to the right in both numbers until the decimal is a whole number. Then, divide the numbers normally.

  1. Set up the long division problem

    First, place the decimal on the outside of the long division symbol, and place the whole number on the inside. If your numbers are 52 divided by 3.25, than 3.25 is on the outside, and 52 is on the inside.

  2. Move the decimal place on the decimal number

    Move the decimal place to the right in the decimal number, counting spaces as you go. For instance, 3.25 becomes 325 when you move the decimal point two places to the right.

  3. Move the decimal place on the whole number

    Move the decimal place to the right on the whole number the same number of spaces. With a whole number, the decimal point is invisible, but it is at the right end of the number. For instance, moving the decimal point two places with 52 makes it 5200.

  4. Divide the number normally

    Begin by checking to see if the divisor (the number on the outside) goes into the first number of the dividend (the number on the inside). In this case, 325 does not go into 5. Use the next number, as well. Since 325 does not go into 52, either, use the next number, making it 520; 325 does go into 520 one time. Place a one on top of the long division symbol over the first zero and subtract 325 from 520 below, equaling 195. Add the zero to it for the next step, dividing 325 into 1950. It divides into 1950 six times evenly, so place that number on top. Multiply 325 by six and subtract it from 1950 to check your work, and it should equal zero. Therefore, your answer is 16, so 3.25 goes into 52 16 times.