What is multiplication?

Multiplication is a mathematical operation that consists of adding a number as many times as indicated by the other number that makes up the operation, for example:

The previous operation indicates adding the first number three times, then:

Multiplication comes from Latin multiplication, which means "action and effect of multiplying".

In the same way, multiplication outside the mathematical realm implies increasing the same thing, either qualitatively or quantitatively.

Parts of multiplication

In math, multiplication has three components:

  • Multiplying: it is the number that is going to be multiplied.
  • Multiplier: it is the component that indicates how many times the multiplicand is going to be added.
  • Product: is the result or solution of the multiplication.

Multiplying and multiplying are also called factors.

How the signs multiply

Multiplications admit operations with positive (+) and negative (-) numbers. In those cases, the signs are also multiplied following certain rules:

  • When a number is multiplied by unity, it will retain its same sign.


  • When the factors of a multiplication have different signs (+), (-), the product will have a negative sign.


  • When the factors of a multiplication have equal signs, the product will have a positive sign.


Multiplication properties

Multiplications have a series of properties that apply when operations are performed with whole, natural, real, fraction and complex numbers:

Property of the zero element or absorbing element

Any number multiplied by zero will result in zero.


Property of the neutral element.

Any number multiplied by the unit will result in the same number.


Lock property

When multiplying two natural numbers the product will always be a natural number.


Commutative property

The order of the factors does not alter the product.


Associative property

The way of associating the factors does not alter the product.


Distributive property

Multiplying a number by a sum is the same as adding the multiplication of that number by each of the addends of the operation.


Multiplication sign

Contrary to popular belief, the multiplication sign is not an x ​​(x), but rather a cross-shaped cross called decussata or Cross of San Andrés. The use of the X has become popular, among other reasons, because many keyboards do not have this sign, which is why it is much more practical to use an X.

However, being so similar to a letter x, it can be confused with the unknown of an equation, therefore, although its use is correct, it is suggested to use a period (.) Or an asterisk (*) in this type of operations to avoid errors.

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