What is long division?
Long division is a way to solve division problems with large numbers. These are division problems that you can't do in your head.
How to Write it Down
First you have to write the problem down in long division format. The typical division problem looks like this:
To write this down in long division format it looks like this:
Let's try a fairly simple example: 187 ÷ 11 = ?
1) First step is to put the problem into long division format:
2) The second step is to determine the smallest number to the left of the dividend, in this case 187, that can be divided by 11. The first number "1" is too small, so we look at the first two numbers "18". 11 can fit into 18 so we can use that.
In this step, we write down how many times 18 can be divided by 11. In this case the answer is 1. If we tried 2 that would be 22, which is bigger than 18.
Next, we write 11 underneath the 18 because 1x11 = 11. Then we subtract 11 from 18. This equals 7, which we write down.
3) Since we had a remainder of 7, the problem isn't finished. We now move the 7 down from the end of the 187 (see the picture).
4) In this step we determine how many times 11 will divide into 77. That is exactly 7 times. We write down the 7 next to the 1 in the answer area. We also write down 77 underneath the 77 because 7 x 11 = 77.
5) Now we subtract 77 from 77. The answer is zero. We have finished the problem. 187 ÷ 11 = 17.
A few tips for long division:
- Write down a multiple table for the divisor before you start the problem. For example, if the divisor is 11 you write down 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, etc. This can help you to avoid mistakes.
- Put a "0" in the left positions of the quotient that you aren't using. Make sure you keep all your numbers lined up. Writing neatly and keeping the numbers lined up can really help you to make fewer mistakes.
- Double check the problem with multiplication. Once you have your answer, do the problem in reverse using multiplication to make sure you got the correct answer.
Below are a few more examples of long division. Try to work through these problems yourself to see if you get the same results.
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