
Writing Percents
as Decimals 

Unit
4 > Lesson 4 of 9 
Problem:

What is 35
percent
of one dollar?


 

We know from the previous lesson that .35 = 35%. The word
"of" means multiply. So we get the following:


35% x $1.00 = .35 x $1.00


since $1.00 = 1, we get .35 x $1.00 = .35 x 1 = .35

 

35% of $1.00 is $.35

Solution:

35% of one dollar is $.35, or 35 cents.

The solution to the above problem is not surprising, since
percents, dollars and cents are all based on the number 100. To convert a percent to a decimal, first remove the
percent symbol, then move the decimal point two places to the left. Look at the Example 1 below.

Example 1:

Write each percent as a decimal:
18%, 7%, 82%, 55%



Solution 
Percent 
Decimal 
18% 
.18 
07% 
.07 
82% 
.82 
55% 
.55 

In Example 1, it was easy to convert each percent to a decimal since each percent had two digits.
(The exception to this was 7% for which we needed to add in a zero in order to make the conversion.)
Thus, we need a procedure to follow for consistency.

To write a percent as a decimal, follow these steps:

 Remove the percent symbol.
 Move the decimal point two places to the left, adding in zeros as needed.

Why do we move the decimal point 2 places to the left?
Remember that percent means parts per hundred, so 18% =
From your knowledge of decimal place value, you know that
= 0.18 (eighteen
hundredths).
Thus, 18% must also equal 0.18.
Let's take another look at Example 1, this time including the fractional equivalents of each percent.
Example 1:

Write each percent as a decimal:
18%, 7%, 82%, 55%



Solution 
Percent 
Fraction 
Decimal 
18% 

.18 
07% 

.07 
82% 

.82 
55% 

.55 

Let's look at another example of writing percents as decimals.
Example 2:

Write each percent as a decimal:
12.5%, 89.19%, 39.2%, 71.935%



Solution 
Percent 
Decimal 
12.5% 
.12500 
89.19% 
.89190 
39.2% 
.39200 
71.935% 
.71935 

Summary:

To write a percent as a decimal, remove the percent symbol, then move the decimal point two places to
the left, adding in zeros as needed.

Exercises
Directions: Read each question below. Select your answer by clicking on its button.
Immediate feedback is provided in the RESULTS BOX. If you make a mistake, choose a different button.

1. Which of the following is equal to 64%?


2. Which of the following is equal to 7.27%?


3. Which of the following is equal to 91.4763%?


4. Which number has the greatest value?


5. Which number has the least value?


This lesson is by Gisele Glosser. You can find me on Google.
