What you need to know

Things to remember:

  • When reading numbers after a decimal, we say each digit separately.
  • We just say “point” when reading the decimal point.

Reading decimal numbers is pretty nice, really, we just need to know two key points:

When reading a decimal number, read each digit after the decimal separately.


When reading the decimal point, we just say “point”.


And that’s it!

How would you say 23.45?

We read the whole part of the number as we would normally, “twenty-three”, then we’d say “point” for the decimal, and then “four-five” for the numbers after the decimal.

No:      Twenty-three point forty-five.

Yes:    Twenty-three point four five.                                 

How would you say 0.12?

Although we don’t really have a whole number here, we still have “zero”, which we have to say. So, for this one, we’d say “zero-point one-two”

No:      Zero-point twelve.

Yes:    Zero-point one two.

How would you say 0.03?

Well, we’d read it the same as the others, by reading each number after the decimal separately.

Yes:    Zero-point zero three.

So, what is the point of this? Why don’t we read decimal numbers how we do whole numbers? Let’s have a look at three decimal numbers:




If we read these like we do normal numbers we’d say:

23.1 – Twenty-three point one

23.10 – Twenty-three point ten

23.100 – Twenty-three point one hundred

But, remember, when we have zero at the end of a decimal number, we can get rid of them.

23.1 – Twenty-three point one

23.1 – Twenty-three point ten

23.1 – Twenty-three point one hundred

So, it doesn’t really make sense to read decimals like this, because these are just the same.

There are special types of numbers called “irrational” numbers that are decimals that go on forever and don’t have a repeating pattern, like \pi. So let’s have a look at the three digits of \pi.


So, if we read this like a normal number, the first 1 would represent “one hundred”. But, \pi has more digits, so let’s add the fourth one.


So, now, that 1 is worth “one thousand”.


Now, that 1 is worth ten thousand. But, \pi never stops, so we can do this forever and ever.

Example Questions

Five point zero seven

Thirteen point one three.

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