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How to Multiply

The rules of multiplication extend beyond multiplying 2 whole numbers. Here are some of the others.


  • Step 1: Multiply fractions Handle fractions by multiplying the numerators and denominators. Place the product of the numerators over that of the denominators and simplify.
  • Step 2: Multiply polynomials Handle polynomials by multiplying each term in the 2nd polynomial by each term in the first one. Combine like terms.
  • Step 3: Multiply signed numbers Multiply signed numbers the same way you multiply unsigned ones, but take into account the signs.
  • TIP: If both numbers are negative or positive, the product is positive. If 1 number is positive and the other is negative, the product is negative.
  • Step 4: Handle exponents Multiply 2 terms in the same variable by adding their exponents.
  • Step 5: Multiply square roots Handle 2 terms involving the square roots of positive numbers by multiplying the 2 numbers under the square root sign. Multiplication is as simple as that unless, of course, you are like the snake who claimed he couldn't multiply because he was an adder.
  • FACT: The concept of zero was in use in India five centuries before it made its way to Europe.

You Will Need

  • Fractions
  • Polynomials
  • Signed numbers
  • Exponentials
  • Square roots

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