Rounding 2

Knowing when someone is ROUNDing requires you:

  • Look for the word ABOUT in the sentence.   (The word ABOUT means you are hearing something that is inaccurate and rounded.)
  • Know if the speaker thinks ACCURACY is important.  (If you think the speaker feels accuracy is important, then the number is probably accurate and probably not a rounding of the number.)
  • Know if it is possible for the speaker to be ACCURATE.  (If you DO NOT think it is possible to be accurate, then it may not be accurate .... it may be rounded number).

If you are not sure whether or not someone is using rounding, you may want to ask the person speaking ....

"Is that accurate or an estimate???."

Frequently, people round because they do not think accuracy is important in a particular situation example:

  1. Kathy is asked how much a dress cost her.  Kathy answers "$25," but, she actually paid $24.95
  2. Ted drove 173 miles to visit his friend Juan.   Juan asks, "How long did it take you to drive here?"  Ted answered, "It took me 3 hours," ... actually he drove 2 hours and 43 minutes.
  3. The airline pilot informed the passengers, "We are traveling a 32,000 feet," actually they were flying at 32,214 feet.

Frequently, people round because they can't answer accurately.

  1. Kathy plans to travel to visit her boyfriend Chris.   She says, "I'll be there in in 2 hours," however, she can't actually be sure is she is will not arrive in 1 hour 55 minutes or 2 hours and 8 minutes.
  2. Anna has a party.   She tells her friend Maria, "there will be 30 people at the party," but, she can't be sure that 30 people will actually be at the party.
  3. Sam drives into a city, passed a city limits sign.   The sign says the population is 23,200.    Probably, this is an estimate and has been obtained by rounding.   (Sam doubts the city changes the sign each time a new person moves in or out of town or a baby is born.)

Check Your Understanding

In the following problems, read the comment and determine if the person is being accurate or rounding:

  1. Matthew says, "I can fill my gas tank for $15. "
  2. Vanessa says, "I talked to my boyfriend on the phone for an hour.
  3. John says, "There were 11 people at the party."
  4. Chris said to Jeff, "Can I borrow $11.52."
  5. Jeff said to Chris, "You owe me $11.52."
  6. The TV will cost about $230.