The decimal separator is used to mark the boundary between the integer and the fractional parts of a decimal numeral.

Originally (near the end of the first millennium CE), a bar over the units digit was used. Later, a separator (a short, roughly vertical, ink-stroke) between the units and tenths position became the norm. When type-set, it was convenient to use the existing comma, stop, or point marks for this purpose.

In many countries, therefore, the comma is used to mark the decimal units position; however, in predominantly English-speaking countries, a stop (.) or point (middle dot: ·) is commonly used as the decimal point symbol.

In Germany, Romania and much of Europe: 1 234 567,89 or 1.234.567,89 (in handwriting you may also come across 1^{·}234^{·}567,89)

In Switzerland(mainly German-speaking Switzerland): 1'234'567,89

In the UK and USA: 1,234,567.89 or 1,234,567·89; the latter is more commonly found in older, and especially handwritten, documents nowadays; many UK schools now teach the SI style.

SI style: 1 234 567.89 (dot countries) or 1 234 567,89 (comma countries)

Dot countries

Countries where a dot is used to mark the radix point include:

Decimal notation is the writing of numbers in the base 10 numeral system, which uses various symbols for ten distinct quantities (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, called digits) to represent numbers.

These digits are frequently used with a decimalpoint which indicates the start of a fractional part, and with one of the sign symbols + (plus) or âˆ’ (minus) to indicate sign.

Decimalfractions can be expressed without a denominator, the decimalpoint being inserted into the numerator (with leading zeros added if needed), at the position from the right corresponding to the power of ten of the denominator.

The decimal separator is a symbol used to mark the boundary between the integer and the fractional parts of a decimal numeral.

This had the advantage of reducing confusion with the countries that used the period to separate groups of digits, but as the middle dot was already in common use in world mathematics to indicate multiplication (for example, in the dot product), the SI rejected this use of this symbol for this purpose.

However, the use of the period as decimalpoint was not banned.

Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here

Want to know more? Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

Press Releases |
Feeds |
Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the
GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m