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Multiplying three numbers together

Multiplying three numbers together

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Summary

Multiplying three numbers together

​​In a nutshell

When it comes to multiplying three one-digit numbers together, the end result will always be the same no matter what order the calculation is done in.



Breaking the question down

When dealing with three numbers, it makes sense to break the problem down. Multiply two of the numbers first and then multiply the answer by the remaining number.


You might find that some orders are easier than others - some may require short division and others may be possible using just times tables. Pick the easiest calculation to perform.


Example

What is 3×4×63\times4\times6?


There are a few different ways to answer this question:


Method 1. 

Start by working out 3×43\times4.

3×4=123\times4=12


Then multiply by 66.

12×6=7212\times6=\underline{72}


In this case, using times tables was enough.​


Method 2. 

Start by working out 3×63\times6.

3×6=183\times6=18


Then multiply by 44.

18×4——–72—–3 \begin {aligned} 18\\ \times \enspace \enspace \enspace 4\\\text{------}\text{--}\\ \underline{7 2}\\\text{-----}_3\text{--}\end{aligned}​​


In this case, short multiplication was also needed.


Method 3. 

Start by working out 4×64\times6.

4×6=244\times6=24​​


Then multiply by 33.

24×3=(20×3)+(4×3)=60+12=72\begin {aligned}24\times3&=(20\times3)+(4\times3)\\&= 60+12\\&=\underline{72}\end{aligned}​​


In this case, partitioning was used.



Each methods leads to the same answer. For this question it makes sense to use the first method, as this can be done quickly and mentally using times tables.  Use your problem solving skills to help you decide which order of multiplication will be the quickest for you to complete.


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Exercises

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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