Multiplying with decimals

Explain to your child that multiplying decimals is almost the same as multiplying with whole numbers.

The only difference is that the number of decimal places in the answer must be the same as the total number of decimal places in the question.

You can use the idea of hops instead of decimal places.

When tutoring your children on decimals be sure to explain the real-life relevance of multiplication with decimals. Money is usually an idea that children can identify with. e.g. if you get $5.50 every week for 8 weeks, how much will you have at the end of the eight weeks?

Sponsored links

Illustration of multiplication of two decimal numbers with the idea of hops being counted to locate the decimal point in the answer.:

Sponsored links

Common Error When Multiplying Decimals

The example below highlights are fairly common mistake that students make when multiplying decimals.

example showing mistake when multiplying decimals

"Using the wrong rule" type errors are best dealt with by discussing the underlying principles. This will require a solid understanding of place value and knowing that moving the decimal point one place is equivalent to multiplying or dividing by 10 depending on the direction of movement.

This error also highlights the benefits of estimating the answer to check whether the calculated answer is reasonable.

Caution: When multiplying decimals by 10 or multiples on 10, beware of your children applying the dangerous, "just add a zero" rule that is associated with multiplying by 10 - it can cause mistakes like 1.2 x 10 = 1.20


happy face iconHave a go at the decimals worksheet generator. It provides limitless multiplying decimals questions. Note: This generator also provides adding and subtracting decimal questions as well.

There is also another generator just for multiplying decimals and it allows decimals to be multiplied by multiples of 10 and of 100.

Prevent Bullying

Click the links below for information and help on dealing with bullying.

logo for Stomp out bullying campaign logo for National Bullying Helpline logo for logo for Bullying No Way site in Australia
By Subject > Decimals > Multiplying