Multiplication – Definition, Examples, Practice Problems, FAQs
16 minutes read
Created: January 5, 2024
Last updated: January 12, 2024
Welcome to Brighterly, the goto destination for all things math for children! In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of multiplication. Whether you’re just starting your mathematical journey or looking to strengthen your multiplication skills, this comprehensive guide will provide you with a solid foundation in multiplication, along with helpful tips, examples, and practice problems.
At Brighterly, we understand that multiplication plays a crucial role in mathematical proficiency. It’s not just about memorizing multiplication tables; it’s about grasping the concepts, applying properties, and developing problemsolving skills. With our engaging approach and creative learning techniques, we make multiplication an exciting adventure for young learners.
Multiplication Definition in Math
In mathematics, multiplication is the process of adding a number to itself a certain number of times. It is represented by the multiplication symbol (*), which is also known as the “times” symbol. For example, multiplying 3 by 4 can be expressed as 3 * 4, and the result is 12.
Multiplication Symbol
The multiplication symbol (*), often referred to as the “times” symbol, is used to indicate multiplication in mathematical expressions. It signifies the operation of combining groups of numbers or quantities. The symbol helps distinguish multiplication from addition, subtraction, and division.
Multiplication Formula
The formula for multiplication is straightforward. To multiply two numbers, simply multiply the first number (called the multiplicand) by the second number (called the multiplier). The result is known as the product. The multiplication formula can be represented as:
Product = Multiplicand * Multiplier
For example, if we multiply 5 by 2, the formula becomes:
Product = 5 * 2 = 10
Properties of Multiplication
Multiplication exhibits several properties that can help simplify calculations and solve mathematical problems efficiently. Let’s explore some of the key properties of multiplication:
Closure Property of Multiplication
The closure property of multiplication states that when two numbers are multiplied together, the result is always a number within the same set of numbers. In other words, multiplying two whole numbers will always yield a whole number.
For example, multiplying 2 by 3 gives us 6, which is also a whole number.
Commutative Property of Multiplication
The commutative property of multiplication states that changing the order of the multiplicands does not affect the result. In simple terms, you can multiply numbers in any order, and the product will remain the same.
For example, multiplying 3 by 4 or 4 by 3 both result in 12.
Associative Property of Multiplication
The associative property of multiplication states that changing the grouping of the multiplicands does not change the final result. In other words, you can group numbers differently while multiplying, and the product will remain unchanged.
For example, multiplying (2 by 3) and then multiplying the result by 4 gives us the same product as multiplying 2 by (3 and 4).
Distributive Property of Multiplication
The distributive property of multiplication allows us to distribute a factor to each term within a sum or difference before multiplying. It is particularly useful when multiplying a number by a sum or difference.
For example, if we have 3 * (2 + 4), we can distribute the 3 to each term inside the parentheses and simplify the multiplication: 3 * 2 + 3 * 4, which gives us 6 + 12 and ultimately 18.
Identity Property of Multiplication
The identity property of multiplication states that multiplying any number by 1 will result in the original number. In other words, 1 acts as the identity element for multiplication.
For example, multiplying 5 by 1 gives us 5.
Zero Property of Multiplication
The zero property of multiplication states that any number multiplied by 0 will always result in 0. In other words, the product of 0 and any number is 0.
For example, multiplying 0 by 7 or 0 by 9 both result in 0.
Multiplying Integers
Multiplying integers involves multiplying positive and negative whole numbers. The rules for multiplying integers are as follows:
 The product of two positive integers is always positive.
 The product of two negative integers is always positive.
 The product of a positive and negative integer is always a negative number.
For example, multiplying 4 by 3 gives us 12 (positive * positive = positive). Multiplying 4 by 3 also gives us 12 (negative * negative = positive). However, multiplying 4 by 3 results in 12 (positive * negative = negative).
Multiplying Fractions
When multiplying fractions, you multiply the numerators together and the denominators together. The resulting product is the simplified fraction, if possible.
For example, if we multiply 1/2 by 3/4, we multiply the numerators (1 * 3) to get 3, and we multiply the denominators (2 * 4) to get 8. Thus, the product is 3/8.
Multiplying Decimals
To multiply decimals, ignore the decimal point and multiply the numbers as if they were whole numbers. The final decimal point in the product should be placed by counting the total number of decimal places in the multiplicands.
For example, if we multiply 1.5 by 2.7, we ignore the decimal points and multiply 15 by 27, which gives us 405. Since there is one decimal place in the multiplicands, the product will have one decimal place as well. Therefore, the product is 4.05.
Multiplying Numbers with Powers
When multiplying numbers with powers (exponents), you can add the exponents if the bases are the same.
For example, if we multiply 2^3 by 2^4, we add the exponents: 3 + 4 = 7. Therefore, the product is 2^7.
Tips to Master Multiplication
Mastering multiplication requires practice and a solid understanding of the concepts involved. Here are some tips to help children improve their multiplication skills:
 Practice regularly: Set aside dedicated time for multiplication practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.
 Memorize multiplication facts: Focus on memorizing the multiplication tables to quickly recall products.
 Use visual aids: Utilize multiplication charts, number lines, or manipulatives to visualize multiplication concepts.
 Apply realworld examples: Relate multiplication to everyday situations to make it more relatable and practical.
 Play interactive games: Engage in multiplication games and activities to make learning fun and interactive.
Multiplication Signs
Multiplication can be represented by various signs or notations in different contexts. Apart from the traditional multiplication symbol (*), multiplication can also be indicated using the letter “x” or a centered dot (·).
For example, instead of writing 3 * 4, you can write 3 x 4 or 3 · 4.
Multiplication Table
A multiplication table is a handy reference that displays the products of multiplying numbers from 1 to 10 (or beyond). It provides a quick way to find the products of different numbers.
Here is a simplified example of a multiplication table:





































Multiplication Tricks
There are several tricks and shortcuts that can make multiplication easier and faster. Here are a few:
 Doubling and Halving: To multiply a number by 2, double the number. To multiply a number by 4, double it twice. To multiply by 5, multiply by 10 and then halve the result.
 Nines Trick: To multiply a number by 9, multiply it by 10 and then subtract the original number. For example, to multiply 9 by 7, multiply 10 by 7 and subtract 7, resulting in 63.
 Finger Multiplication: Use your fingers to multiply by 9 or 6. For example, to multiply 9 by 7, lower the 7th finger (counting from the left), and you have 6 fingers on the left and 3 fingers on the right, resulting in 63.
How to Solve Multiplication Problems?
Solving multiplication problems involves understanding the problem, identifying the given numbers, and applying the appropriate multiplication operation. Here is a general approach to solving multiplication problems:
 Read the problem carefully: Understand what the problem is asking and identify the relevant information.
 Identify the numbers: Identify the numbers that need to be multiplied.
 Choose the appropriate operation: Determine if multiplication is required based on the problem context.
 Perform the multiplication: Multiply the numbers together using the multiplication formula or properties.
 Check the solution: Verify the result and ensure it makes sense within the problem context.
By following these steps, you can effectively solve multiplication problems and arrive at the correct answers.
Multiplication Without Regrouping
When multiplying multidigit numbers without regrouping, also known as carrying, follow these steps:
 Write the numbers vertically: Place one number above the other, aligning the corresponding digits.
 Multiply the ones place: Multiply the digits in the ones place and write the product below.
 Multiply the tens place: Multiply the digits in the tens place and write the product in the tens place below.
 Add the partial products: Add the products obtained in steps 2 and 3 to find the final product.
Multiplication With Regrouping
When multiplying multidigit numbers with regrouping, also known as carrying, follow these steps:
 Write the numbers vertically: Place one number above the other, aligning the corresponding digits.
 Multiply the ones place: Multiply the digits in the ones place and write the product below.
 Multiply the tens place: Multiply the digits in the tens place and write the product in the tens place below.
 Add the partial products: Add the products obtained in steps 2 and 3 to find the final product.
If the partial product in any place value exceeds 9, carry over the excess to the next place value.
Multiplication Using Number Line
Multiplication can also be visualized and solved using a number line. Here’s how it works:
 Draw a number line: Draw a horizontal line and mark the starting point.
 Mark the first number: Locate the first number on the number line by counting from the starting point.
 Repeated jumps: Make repeated jumps of the size indicated by the second number on the number line.
 Final position: Mark the final position reached after the required number of jumps.
 Read the product: Determine the value represented by the final position on the number line.
Word Problems on Multiplication
Word problems involving multiplication require translating the given information into a multiplication equation and solving for the unknown. Here’s an example:
Problem: Sara has 5 bags, and each bag contains 8 apples. How many apples does she have in total?
Solution: We know that Sara has 5 bags, and each bag contains 8 apples. To find the total number of apples, we need to multiply the number of bags by the number of apples per bag.
Number of bags = 5 Number of apples per bag = 8
Total number of apples = Number of bags * Number of apples per bag Total number of apples = 5 * 8 = 40
Sara has a total of 40 apples.
Solved Examples On Multiplication
Let’s look at a few solved examples to further illustrate multiplication:
Example 1: Multiply 6 by 3.
Solution: To multiply 6 by 3, we use the multiplication formula:
Product = Multiplicand * Multiplier Product = 6 * 3 = 18
The product of 6 and 3 is 18.
Example 2: Multiply 0.5 by 0.2.
Solution: When multiplying decimals, we ignore the decimal points and multiply the numbers as if they were whole numbers. Count the total number of decimal places in the multiplicands to determine the decimal places in the product.
0.5 * 0.2 = 5 * 2 = 10
Since there is one decimal place in the multiplicands, the product will have one decimal place. Therefore, the product is 1.0.
Example 3: Multiply 2 by 4.
Solution: When multiplying negative numbers, the product is always positive.
(2) * (4) = 2 * 4 = 8
The product of 2 and 4 is 8.
Practice Problems On Multiplication
Now it’s time to put your multiplication skills to the test with some practice problems. Try solving the following multiplication problems:
 Multiply 9 by 6.
 Multiply 2.5 by 4.
 Multiply 7 by 3.
 Multiply 1/3 by 5/6.
 Multiply 0.75 by 0.8.
Take your time, show your work, and check your answers. Practice is the key to mastering multiplication!
Conclusion
Multiplication is a fundamental operation in mathematics that involves combining numbers to find their product. It has various properties and can be applied to integers, fractions, decimals, and numbers with powers. By understanding the properties, learning multiplication tricks, and practicing regularly, children can develop strong multiplication skills.
In this article, we explored the definition of multiplication, multiplication properties, multiplication of integers, fractions, decimals, and numbers with powers. We discussed tips to master multiplication, multiplication signs, the multiplication table, and tricks for faster multiplication. Additionally, we covered solving multiplication problems, multiplication with and without regrouping, multiplication using a number line, word problems, solved examples, and practice problems.
Frequently Asked Questions On Multiplication
What is multiplication in mathematics?
Multiplication is a fundamental mathematical operation that involves combining two or more numbers to find their product. It represents the process of repeated addition or scaling quantities. For example, multiplying 3 by 4 means adding three 4 times or scaling a quantity by a factor of 3. Multiplication is denoted by the symbol “x” or “*”, and the numbers being multiplied are called the multiplicand and the multiplier.
What are the properties of multiplication?
Multiplication has several important properties:
 Commutative Property: The order of the numbers being multiplied doesn’t affect the result. For example, 3 * 4 is the same as 4 * 3.
 Associative Property: The grouping of numbers being multiplied doesn’t affect the result. For example, (2 * 3) * 4 is the same as 2 * (3 * 4).
 Distributive Property: Multiplication can be distributed over addition or subtraction. For example, a * (b + c) is the same as (a * b) + (a * c).
 Identity Property: Multiplying a number by 1 leaves the number unchanged. For example, 5 * 1 is equal to 5.
 Zero Property: Multiplying a number by 0 always results in 0. For example, 6 * 0 is equal to 0.
These properties provide a framework for manipulating and simplifying multiplication expressions.
How can I master multiplication?
To become proficient in multiplication, consider the following strategies:
 Practice Regularly: Regular practice is key to improving multiplication skills. Dedicate time each day to practice multiplication facts and solve multiplication problems.
 Memorize Multiplication Facts: Memorizing multiplication facts, such as times tables, can greatly enhance speed and efficiency in solving multiplication problems.
 Use Visual Aids: Utilize visual aids, such as arrays, diagrams, or number lines, to visualize and understand the concept of multiplication.
 Apply RealWorld Examples: Connect multiplication to reallife situations. For instance, relate multiplication to equal groups, sharing items, or scaling quantities in everyday scenarios.
 Play Interactive Games: Engage in interactive multiplication games and activities that make learning multiplication fun and engaging. Online platforms and educational apps offer a variety of interactive multiplication games suitable for different age levels.
By incorporating these strategies into your learning routine, you can develop a strong foundation in multiplication.
How can I solve multiplication problems?
To solve multiplication problems effectively, follow these steps:
 Understand the Problem: Read the problem carefully and identify the given information, the numbers to be multiplied, and what the problem is asking for.
 Identify the Numbers: Determine the multiplicand and the multiplier—the numbers being multiplied.
 Choose the Appropriate Operation: Recognize if multiplication is required based on the problem context. Sometimes, problems may involve other operations like addition or subtraction.
 Perform the Multiplication: Multiply the numbers together using the multiplication formula or properties discussed earlier. You can use long multiplication, mental math strategies, or alternative methods depending on the numbers involved and your preferred approach.
 Check the Solution: Verify the result by checking if it makes sense within the problem context. Reread the problem and ensure the solution answers the question posed.
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