Making the Most of Numbers with Decimals


One of the mostly used knowledge sorts in Python is float, which represents floating level numbers. Floating level numbers are numbers, optimistic or unfavourable, which have a decimal place. Float level numbers additionally embody numbers represented utilizing scientific notation, with the character e or E used to point an influence of 10.

Float is an important knowledge sort as it could actually symbolize a variety of actual numbers, from very small numbers to very massive numbers.


Examples of floating level numbers in Python are proven beneath:

# float numbers
a = 20.0
b = -51.51345
c = 65e7
d = -1.08E12
e = 2E10



<class 'float'>
<class 'float'>
<class 'float'>
<class 'float'>
<class 'float'>

Additionally, they permit for extra correct calculations in comparison with knowledge sorts similar to integers, which take away the fractional half of numbers. For occasion, with integers, a quantity similar to 3.142 can be represented merely as 3.

However, the float knowledge sort would symbolize the precise quantity as is, which is 3.142. Therefore, float values are higher fitted to mathematical calculations as they yield extra correct outcomes.

In that regard, floating level values are broadly utilized in real-world modeling, machine studying, knowledge science, monetary and financial evaluation, mathematical computations, graphics and visualizations, and scientific and engineering calculations.

Integers vs. Float in Python

Integers are one other highly regarded knowledge sort in Python. Unlike floating level numbers, integers don’t have a decimal level. Integers are made up of optimistic complete numbers, unfavourable numbers, and nil, all of which don’t have a fractional half.

Integers are helpful after we are performing operations that contain complete numbers, similar to when counting or indexing. In Python, integer values are denoted as int.

Some integers are proven beneath:

a = 0
b = 968
c = -14



<class 'int'>
<class 'int'>
<class 'int'>

Some of the variations between integers and floating-point numbers in Python embody:

Characteristic Integers(int) Floating Point Numbers(float)
Represent Whole numbers,  their unfavourable counterparts, and nil, all with no decimal place. Real numbers with a decimal level
Precision Unlimited precision thus there isn’t any restrict to how lengthy or massive an int worth could be. The solely constraint will likely be the out there reminiscence in your system. Have restricted precision. The largest float worth you possibly can retailer is about 1.8 x 10308
Memory Usage Uses much less reminiscence that floats Use extra reminiscence than integer values
Bitwise Operations Extensively utilized in bitwise operations  Are nearly by no means utilized in bitwise operations
Usage Typically utilized in counting, indexing and bitwise operations Extensively utilized in measurements, scientific calculations, and most mathematical operations

Different Ways to Make and Use Floats in Python

An simple method to begin working with float values in Python is to assign a variable a float worth like so:

# assign a variable a float worth
a = 3.142

Another method to get float values is to transform integers and numerical strings into float values utilizing the float() constructor. If we go in an integer or numerical string into float(), will probably be transformed to a float worth as proven beneath:

number1 = 2524
numString1 = "513.523"
numString2 = "1341"
# Convert to a float and retailer the float worth in a variable
a = float(number1)
b = float(numString1);
c = float(numString2)



In the instance above, the integer and strings are transformed to drift worth utilizing float() after which saved in a variable, which is then printed out, displaying the ensuing float worth after conversion.

Another method of getting float values is by performing mathematical calculations similar to division, as proven beneath:

num1 = 20
num2 = 3
end result = num1/num2
print("Result of the division as an integer:")
print("Result of the division as a float value:")
print(end result)
print(sort(end result))


Result of the division as an integer:
Result of the division as a float worth:
<class 'float'>

In the instance above, discover that the float worth offers us a extra correct reply in comparison with dividing and getting the end result again as an integer.

When working with float numbers in Python, you would possibly encounter some very attention-grabbing outcomes as a result of of how float values are represented internally in the laptop. Floating-point numbers are represented in laptop {hardware} as base 2 (binary) fractions.

However, most decimal fractions, significantly these with recurring decimals, can’t be represented as a precise binary fraction. As a end result, floating level numbers are normally saved as an approximation of the precise worth.

To see this virtually, contemplate the float worth 0.3. If you assign 0.3 to a variable, internally, it’s not going to be saved as precisely 0.3. To see this, we are able to use the format() perform to see how 0.3 is represented internally. format() permits us to show a desired quantity of important figures of a price we’re working with. In the instance beneath, we’re printing out 0.3 to twenty important figures to see how it’s saved internally.

num = 0.3
print("num to 20 significant figures")
print(format(num, '.20f'))
print("Value we stored for num")


num to twenty important figures
Value we saved for num

As you possibly can see, the worth 0.3 which we assigned to a variable known as num, just isn’t saved internally as precisely 0.3. When you print the variable num, you get a rounded worth.

Due to this truth, you would possibly get some surprising outcomes when working with float values. For occasion, if you’re to do a handbook calculation of 0.3 + 0.3 + 0.3, your reply will likely be 0.9. However, based on Python, that’s not the case as a result of internally, it shops binary fraction approximations of the precise worth. This could be seen beneath:

sum = 0.3 + 0.3 + 0.3
reply = 0.9
print("Is sum equal to answer: ")
print(sum == reply)
print("The internal representation of of sum is: ")
print("The answer from manual calculation is: ")


Is sum equal to reply: 
The inside illustration of of sum is: 
The reply from handbook calculation is: 

Therefore, when working with float values, you will need to take into account that Python doesn’t retailer actual values internally. Instead, it shops approximations of the precise worth.

Therefore, when making comparisons between float values, you would possibly wish to first spherical the off to the identical quantity of important figures. For higher accuracy when working with floating level numbers in Python, think about using the inbuilt decimal module.

Decimal Module in Python

In conditions the place excessive accuracy is necessary and vital similar to in monetary and scientific calculations, utilizing float just isn’t best. To assure excessive accuracy when working with floating level numbers, the inbuilt Python module decimal is used.

Unlike float which is saved as binary floating-point representations which are machine-dependent, the decimal module shops floating-point numbers utilizing machine-independent decimal-based illustration which provides larger accuracy.

Additionally, the decimal module is ready to symbolize decimal numbers precisely as they’re and use them precisely as they’re in calculations. It additionally provides appropriately rounded decimal floating level arithmetic.

To begin utilizing the decimal module, import it into your Python file as follows:

import decimal

To see the profit of the decimal module, allow us to redo the earlier comparability between the sum of 0.3 + 0.3 + 0.3 and the worth 0.9. The code to do that is proven beneath:

import decimal

sum = decimal.Decimal('0.3') + decimal.Decimal('0.3') + decimal.Decimal('0.3')
reply = decimal.Decimal('0.9')
print("Is sum equal to answer: ")
print(sum == reply)
print("The internal representation of sum is: ")
print("The answer from manual calculation is: ")


Is sum equal to reply: 
The inside illustration of sum is: 
The reply from handbook calculation is: 

Therefore, when working with float level numbers and wish excessive accuracy, keep in mind to all the time use the decimal module.

Common Errors When Working With Floats

Rather a lot of the errors that come up when working with Float in Python stem from not understanding how float level numbers are represented internally by Python. For occasion, a price similar to 0.3 is not going to be saved precisely as 0.3. Therefore, you might be prone to run into errors should you work float values, assuming that they’re saved precisely as is.


One widespread error is the rounding-off error that you simply’ll encounter when performing mathematical calculations on float values. Since Python can’t symbolize the precise float values, you’re prone to encounter rounding-off errors the place the outcomes is probably not what you count on.

Because of errors similar to rounding off errors, you’re prone to run into errors once you attempt to make equality comparisons between floating level values. Exercise lots of warning when working with floats in Python, and remember of surprising outcomes.

A greater method to keep away from all the errors which will come up as you’re employed with float values is to make use of the inbuilt decimal module. This method, the outcomes out of your floating level quantity calculations will likely be extra predictable and correct.


As a programmer working with Python, you might be certain to make use of the float knowledge sort. To keep away from errors with this knowledge sort, you will need to perceive how Python represents float numbers internally. Since Python can’t retailer the precise float numbers, keep away from doing actual equality comparisons with float values. Otherwise, you’ll run into errors.

In case you want correct ends in your utility, keep away from utilizing float values. Instead, use the inbuilt decimal module, which yields correct floating-point quantity outcomes and represents them precisely as they’re and in a machine-independent method.

You may additionally learn Python Itertools Functions and Python Try Except.



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