One tenth is one part of a whole or a group that is broken up into 10 equal parts. One tenth can be written in fractional form as or in decimal form as 0.1. Below is a visual representation of a tenth.

The single green square in the above 1 by 10 array is a representation of one tenth because it is 1 of 10 squares.


If Trevor has 20 apples that he wants to split so that each of his 10 friends gets one tenth of the amount of apples he has, how many will each person get?

Since Trevor has 10 friends, we can think of each friend as 1 square in the array above. Then, we just need to determine how many apples go into each group, which we can determine by dividing the number of apples (20) by the number of groups, or people (10):

20 ÷ 10 = 2

So, one tenth of 20 apples is 2, and Trevor needs to give each friend 2 apples for them to have a tenth of the apples. To confirm this, write the number of apples each person has as a fraction of the total number of apples:

Place value: tenths

The most widely used numeral system today is the decimal numeral system, which is based on place values. In the International System of Units, the tenths place can be indicated using the "deci-" prefix, as in "decimeter," where a decimeter is one tenth of a meter. The tenth place is between the decimal point and the hundredths place, as shown in the place value chart below.

The tenths place is shown in red, along with the surrounding place values. The value of any digit that is in the tenths place is equal to the product of the digit and 1/10, or 0.1. For example, in the number 5.62, the digit in the tenths place is the 6, and its value is 0.1 × 6 = 0.6, or 6/10.

Tenth as an ordinal number

The term tenth is also used to describe the ordinal number between ninth (9th) and eleventh (11th). Tenth, as an ordinal number, is written as "10th." An ordinal number is a number that is used to indicate some order or position. For example, if a person places 10th in a race, that means that 9 people crossed the finish line before them; the 9th person finished before them, and the 11th person finished after them.

Rounding to the tenths place

To round to the nearest tenth, determine whether the number following the digit in the tenths place is < 5 or ≥ 5.


Round the following decimal numbers to the tenths place.

1. 1.5678:

The digit in the tenths place is 5 and the digit following it is 6, so rounding to the tenths place yields,

1.5678 → 1.6

since 6 > 5.

2. 7.7348123:

The digit in the tenths place is 7 and the digit following it is 3, so rounding to the tenths place yields,

7.7348123 → 7.7

since 3 < 5.