What you need to know

Things to remember:

  • You can use your finger to read place value from right to left.

When finding place value, we read from right to left: units, tens, hundreds, … Let’s look at the number 485

5\rightarrow Units

8\rightarrow Tens

4\rightarrow Hundreds

This means that we have 5 units, 8 tens, and 4 hundreds, or:

400 + 80 + 5 = 485

We can so the same when looking at four-digit numbers, we just need to know that the fourth-place value is “Thousands”. So, for the 5236 we’d write:

6\rightarrow Units

3\rightarrow Tens

2\rightarrow Hundreds

7\rightarrow Thousands

So, we have 7 “thousands”, 2 “hundreds”, 3 “tens”, and 6 “units”.

A typical question will ask you to find the value of a specific digit, such as “what is the value of the 9 in 2944?” To do this, we just read from right to left until we get to the 9.

4\rightarrow Units

4\rightarrow Tens

9\rightarrow Hundreds

So, the 9 represents the hundreds. This means that we have 9 hundreds, or 900. Notice how we didn’t need to go all the way up to the thousands as we stopped at the hundreds!

Example Questions

1\rightarrow Units

2\rightarrow Tens

The two represents the tens, so is worth 20.


Our answer is 20.

2\rightarrow Units

7\rightarrow Tens

6\rightarrow Hundreds

4\rightarrow Thousands

The 4 represents the thousands, so is actually worth 4000.


400 is not correct, the answer is 4000.

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