Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

Multiples and Factors

Date: 06/02/2003 at 19:39:45
From: Sarah
Subject: Multiples and Factors

What is the difference between multiples and factors?

Date: 06/03/2003 at 10:35:23
From: Doctor Sarah
Subject: Re: Multiples and Factors

Hi Sarah - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

Multiples of a number are the result of multiplying that number by 
another whole number. 

You can see multiples of numbers in a multiplication table.  For 
example, the first multiples of 6 from 6 to 72 are:

     x | 2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  
     6 |12  18  24  30  36  42  48  54  60  66  72

A factor of a number will divide that number evenly, without any 
remainder. For example, 2 is a factor of 12 because 12/2 = exactly 6.  
And 6 is a factor of 12 because 12/6 = exactly 2.

Notice that 12 has other factors: it is evenly divisible by both 3 and 
4, and by 1 and itself (all numbers are evenly divisible by 1 and 
themselves; if they have no other factors, they are called "prime 
numbers"). So the factors of 12 (the numbers that divide it evenly) 

   1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12

For lots more about prime factorization, see:

   Prime Factoring

- Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum
Associated Topics:
Elementary Multiplication
Middle School Factoring Numbers

Search the Dr. Math Library:

Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.