Long division is one of those math subjects everyone seems to dread learning. Perhaps, it is because there are so many steps involved and skipping one step or getting the numbers out of their proper alignment leads to a wrong answer. Once you have learned the basics of division, you will then be able to put these practices into dividing fractions and dividing decimals.

Division is important when your friends are all equally supposed to pay for a dinner bill. Let’s say you have four friends and the total of your bill is $20.00. You need to know how much Joe, Chris, Mike, and yourself owe so you must divide to get that number. After all, if you don’t properly divide, Chris might get away with paying less than Joe and you know what that will cause.

A division problem includes the dividend, which is the number being divided into. It also includes the divisor which is the number that is divided into the dividend.

Long division can be difficult because it repeats four different steps, until the answer is obtained. It is important the steps are carried out in order.

Division problems may be written two ways:

8040 ÷ 4 or

__ __

4 )8040

The first step is checking to see if the divisor (4) will go into the first number in the dividend which is (8). Luckily, 4 will divide into 8 evenly so your problem will look like this:

__2 __

4 )8040

You will then need to multiply 4 X 2 which is 8.

__2 __

4 )8040

__8 __

After this, you will subtract 8 from 8 which will give you 0.

__2 __

4 )8040

__8 __

0

For the next step, you will bring down the next number, which is the 0.

__2 __

4 )8040

__8 __

00

You will then divide 4 into 0 which goes 0 times. (Pretty simple, huh?).

__20 __

4 )8040

__8 __

00

You will then need to multiply 0 X 4. As you know, anything times 0 is 0.

You will keep performing these steps until you have used all numbers and end up with a 0.

Your completed long division problem will look like this:

__2010 __

4 )8040

__8 __

00

__ 0 __

4

__ 4 __

00

__ 0 __

0

* To check your answer, simply divide 2010 X 4. You should come up with 8040.

Dividing decimals is done in much the same way but with a couple of different steps.

- Make sure the divisor is a whole number. If it is not, move the decimal to the end and count the spaces you moved it. If you move the decimal two spaces, you will have to move the decimal in the dividend two spaces as well.
- You will work the problem as usual but will then need to make sure you put the decimal point precisely where it belongs in the answer.

Dividing fractions involves a few steps that are not too difficult to master:

- Turn the second fraction upside down so it becomes its reciprocal.
- Multiply the first fraction by the reciprocal.
- Simplify if needed.

When working an equation with multiple steps that involve equation division, you will simply go in order of operations and perform all division as the fourth step.

As you can see, division has many steps but they are not too complicated once you master each step and carry them out in order.