Introduction to Large Numbers

Fear of big numbers is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s common, more common than one would think. Large numbers are technically described as numbers bigger than what is used in daily life. And hence the fear is sensible enough. But can one point to where this seemingly irrational fear of big numbers that most of us have in common stems from? It’s simple really since none of us is used to using these huge numbers from the number system in our daily routines, it is unfamiliar to us and the unfamiliar is always treated with caution and healthy underlying fear. Which to be honest should be blamed on the survival instinct that warns us of the unknown and unfamiliar.

Large Numbers

What are the Large Numbers?

Now that the root of the fear has been uncovered, it should get easier to tackle the problem. Since fear of large numbers stems from unfamiliarity, we shall make it familiar. We are well aware that numbers are separated into groups: the ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, and so on. Each group is home to three subdivisions: ones, tens, and hundreds. When reading or writing a large number begin at the left with the largest group, and proceed to the right. For instance, take 8,685 is read as eight thousand, six hundred, and eighty-five. First one must be clear with this. It begins with the ones: ones, tens and hundreds being the subdivisions, followed by thousands, millions, and billions and so on, with their own three subdivisions. How would you read 10,876,432? It would go ten million, eight-hundred seventy-six thousand, and four hundred and thirty-two.

The very large numbers are somewhat like this

1,000,000,000 are “one billion”.

1,000,000,000,000 are “one thousand billion”.

1,000,000,000,000,000 are “one million billion”.

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 are “one billion billion”.

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 are “thousand billion billion” and so on…

When a number is made of more than 12 figures; you say first the number of billions, then the numbers of millions, then the numbers of thousands, then the hundreds, tens, and units. The more you practice, the more the fear will subside. As like normal numbers, it is possible to apply the arithmetic operations on the large numbers, such as

  • Addition of Large numbers
  • Subtraction of Large Numbers
  • Multiplication of Large Numbers
  • Division of Large Numbers

Addition and Subtraction of Large Numbers

In addition, if you want to add large numbers, you can stack the list of numbers on top of each other which you want to add, so that one’s digit line up in a column, ten’s digit line up in another column, etc. In this process, you can add a column by column, from the right side. It means that, start the addition process from the one’s column, ten’s column, hundred’s column, and so on. This process is known as column addition. Similarly, for the subtraction of large numbers, the process is the same. Instead of addition, you do the subtraction process and it is known as column subtraction.

Multiplication of Large Numbers

To multiply large numbers, write down the numbers on top of each other, and align the numbers. In case if there are any decimal numbers, don’t worry about the decimal values, just line up the given numbers. Let’s take the 1’s place of the bottom number and multiply with the top number. Then you will get one result. Then, take the 10’s place of the bottom number and multiply it with the top numbers. Here, you should write your result in the 10’s place in the next line of the resultant area. Now add both the result to get the product of those numbers.

For example Multiply 1234 by 12

Multiplication of Large Numbers

Division of Large Numbers

To divide large numbers, the process called long division method is used. Unlike other operations, the division operation is performed from left to right. In this process, each digit in the dividend, you should finish the complete cycle of division, subtraction and multiplication operation.

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