If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Lesson 6: Commutative property of multiplication

# Intro to multiplication: FAQ

## What is multiplication?

Multiplication is a way of combining equal groups of numbers. For example, if you have $3$ groups of $4$ apples, you can multiply $3$ by $4$ to get $12$ apples. That means $3×4=12$.

## Why do we need to learn about multiplication?

Multiplication is a very important math skill that helps us quickly figure out how many items we have when they are arranged in equal groups. We use multiplication in all sorts of real-world situations, like when we're buying things in bulk or trying to figure out how many slices of pizza each person can have at a party.

## How is multiplication different from addition?

Multiplication is similar to addition in that it helps us combine numbers together. But while addition joins numbers together one at a time, multiplication lets us add the same number over and over again in one step. For example, $2+2+2+2+2$ is the same as $5×2$.

## What is the commutative property of multiplication?

The commutative property of multiplication is a rule that says that we can change the order of the factors in a multiplication problem and still get the same product. For example, $3×4=12$ and $4×3=12$. This property helps us to remember and learn multiplication facts more easily.

## Why do we learn different ways to multiply, like with arrays and on the number line?

There are many different ways to think about multiplication, and it can be helpful to understand all of them. If you get stuck on a problem using one approach, you might be able to figure it out using a different method. It is best to find a way that works for you and keep practicing!

## Want to join the conversation?

• how old is multiplication
• Multiplication was invented thousands of years ago in places like Egypt and Babylon. They needed to count lots of things like animals. They came up with a way to make counting faster and easier by using multiplication. It’s like adding the same number over and over again. So instead of counting 2+2+2+2+2, they could just do 2x5 and get the same answer, 10.
• what happens if you come to a difficult problem like 4 times 6 times 8 ?HOW DO YOU SOLVE what it equals?
• Choose any two numbers to multiply first, then multiply by the other number. The answer will be the same no matter what choice is made.

For example we could multiply 4x8 first to get 32. Then we would need to multiply 32x6.
Think of 32x6 as 32 sixes, and 32 as 30+2.
30 sixes are 30x6 = 180, and 2 sixes are 2x6 = 12.
So 32x6 = 180+12 = 192, the final answer.

One way to check this answer is to multiply two other numbers first, for example 4x6 = 24. Then 24x8 = (20x8)+(4x8) = 160+32 = 192, the same answer as before!

Have a blessed, wonderful day!
• Is the x in the multiplication the same as the one in the alphabet?
• No. As you continue the learning path in math, you will know that the alphabet x can be denoted as a variable / unknown.
• I learned the mutlipcation tables.
• So did I. Up to 12 * 12 in the third grade. Best and most useful thing a teacher ever made me do.
• I learned the mutlipcation tables.
• Does anyone know an easy way to learn your times tables? I have AUDHD and I struggle a lot with math in particular. if you know of anything please tell me! thank you. :)
• Hi! I also struggle with ADHD so I understand the frustration you may be feeling. When I was younger I was super hyperactive and my mother basically got these cards with different multiplication problem and made it into a game where i had to jump from card to card throughout the whole house, saying the answer as i went..... :) If you feel like this is a little too childish.... I would suggest learning in 5 min. increments, meaning work for 5 min and then play or just relax for the next five min and so on so forth....
Good Luck!
• What if the equation is 100x100? Do we have to put one hundred one hundred times?
• In computing, yes; however, there is a faster way when using our human brain to calculate the number with zeroes in lesser places using multiplication: Append the zeroes.

(100 × 100) = (10 × 1,000) = (1 × 10,000)
• I learned the mutlipcation tables.
• i masterd each one in like 2 trys!
• is commutative property the same for division
• how old are decimals