When we write numbers out the position, or place value, of each number tells us something important. So if we have the number 57 we can think of 5 being in the ‘tens’ column and 7 being in the ‘units’ column shown in (a) below:

a) Five **tens** or 5 x 10 or 50

and

Seven **units **or 7 x 1 or 7

(b) Likewise, for the number 831:

Eight **hundreds** or 8 x 100 or 800

Three **tens** or 3 x 10 or 30

And

One **unit** or 1 x 1 or 1

You can summarise the **Hundreds**, **Tens** and **Units** by using the letters H, T and U above each column. You can write these above your numbers any time you’re trying to work out the place values.

As you can see from the diagram to the right, we can also have bigger numbers:

**Thousands ** = Th

**Tens of Thousands** = TTh

**Hundreds of Thousands** = HTh

And so on…

Knowing what each individual digit in a number represents can help you with adding, subtracting and other operations. For many people this knowledge forms the foundation of other things they will learn in maths, but everyone can benefit from going over it to make sure it’s well understood.

**Relationship between the places**

Notice that each time we move one place to the left, say from tens to hundreds, the value of that place is 10 times bigger. So a hundred is ten times bigger than ten. And ten, is ten times bigger than one.

We can also go the other way and reverse the operation.

In this case we’re dividing by ten each time.

**QUIZ**

Have a go at the following to check you’ve understood.

Q1 – How many hundreds are there in 4,635?

Q2 – How many units are there in 942?

Q3 – How many thousands are there in 7,890?

Q4 – How many tens are there in 105?

In the next post, Place Value: Decimals, we’ll show that you that you can apply this logic to places beyond the decimal point and into the world of less-than-one. Then you might want to move onto Multiplying and Dividing by Ten. In the mean time let me know how you got on with place value in the comments below. If you have a suggestion for a topic to cover, email me at hello@everydaymaths.co.uk.

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