Learn the basics of multiplication with this free lesson, which includes multiplication basics as well as interactives for you to practice.
When you multiply, you're basically adding a certain number more than once. For instance, if you eat 4 pieces of candy, then you eat another 4, then 4 more, you can say that you multiplied the amount of candy you ate.
Multiplication happens all the time in real life. For example, consider the situation below.
Imagine that you buy a 6-pack of soda. You have 1 set of 6 cans.
In multiplication terms, we'd say that you have 1 x 6 cans. You can read that as one times six.
What if you buy 2 6-packs?
Now you have 2 sets of 6 cans, or 2 x 6 cans. That's 2 times as many cans as you had before!
This can go on forever. What about 3 x 6 cans, or 3 times as many cans?
Now you have 8 x 6 cans. This is 8 times as many cans as you had at the beginning.
It's important to know that the numbers in a multiplication expression can be written in any order.
So, 8 x 6 could also be written as 6 x 8.
In other words, 6 x 8 = 8 x 6.
So if you bought 6 sets of 8 cans each...
So if you bought 6 sets of 8 cans each... it would be the same as having 8 sets of 6 cans each. You'd have the exact same number of cans.
As you just saw, a multiplication expression is written like this:
2 x 6
You can read that expression as two times six. The multiplication symbol (x) can also be called the times symbol. Remember, you always put it between the numbers you want to multiply.
Many real-life situations can be expressed with multiplication. For instance, imagine that you want to make three cakes. The recipe says that each cake will need two eggs. In other words, you need 3 x 2 eggs.
Write the following situations as multiplication expressions. Don't try to solve them yet.
You have six pairs of two socks each.
You need to take two pills four times a day.
Each bag contains nine donuts. You buy three bags.