What is 5/6 as a decimal? A Friendly Math Explainer

Imagine you have a delicious pizza cut into 6 equal slices. Your friend asks if they can have a piece. Being the generous person you are, you say “Of course! Help yourself to 5/6 of the pizza.”

Your friend looks at you quizzically. “Uh, how much is that as a decimal?” Great question! Let’s break it down in a way that’s as easy as pie (or pizza pie in this case).

A Slice of Fraction Knowledge

Before we dive into decimals, let’s do a quick refresher on fractions. A fraction represents a part of a whole. The number on top is called the numerator and the number on bottom is the denominator.

So in our pizza example, the fraction is 5/6. If we wanted to say that in plain English, it would be “five sixths.” The numerator 5 represents the number of slices, and the denominator 6 represents the total slices the pizza was cut into.

Converting Our Pizza Fraction to a Decimal

Now that we’ve whet our appetite on fractions, let’s sink our teeth into changing 5/6 into a decimal. The good news is, it’s actually pretty simple! Here’s the recipe:

  1. Take the numerator (in this case 5) and divide it by the denominator (6).
  2. Carry out the long division until you either have no remainder or the decimal starts repeating.
  3. And voila! There’s your decimal.

So let’s work it out:

5 ÷ 6 = 0.8333333…

The decimal goes on forever, with the 3 repeating over and over. In math lingo, we call that a repeating decimal.

A Shorthand for Repeating Decimals

Writing out a bunch of 3’s forever can get pretty tedious. Luckily, mathematicians came up with a nifty shorthand. They place a line or vinculum over the repeating part, like so:


Much easier than an infinite string of 3’s, right? This notation means “0.8, followed by 3’s that go on forever.” It’s like a secret code that says “Repeat the part under the line, over and over into oblivion!” (Okay maybe not that dramatic, but you get the point.)

Putting It All Together

So to recap, when somenoe asks you what is 5/6 as a decimal, you can confidently reply:

“5/6 as a decimal is 0.8̅3̅, my friend! It’s like saying you can have 0.8333333… of my pizza, forever and ever. Or, if we’re rounding, about 0.83 or 83% of the pizza. Buon appetito!”

Congratulations, you’ve just mastereed converting fractions to decimals! No more scratching your head when your pizza-loving pal asks for their share as a decimal. Now who wants a slice?

Other articles