How to Change Multiplication to Division

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Changing multiplication to division is easy, so long as you can properly identify the necessary pattern. Change multiplication to division with help from a longtime mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Principles of Math
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang and we're here to talk about how to change multiplication to division. Now, we're going to do a couple of examples and hopefully you'll be able to see a pattern as to how it works, but it kind of involves and is related to the idea that if you're dividing by a fraction, you're really multiplying by the reciprocal. So, if you change it from multiplication to division, you're going to involve taking the second number, flipping it and then changing the operation to go along with this. So, here's a couple of illustrations. Let's just suppose you want to take 13 times 1/5. Now, this is a multiplication problem, but if you want to change it to division, here's how this works. You're keeping the first number as it is, now we're changing it from multiplication to division; but, if you're changing the operation, you're also flipping or finding the reciprocal of the second number. So, we're, the reciprocal of 1/5 is going to be five. So, it's like saying 13 divided by five or you can rewrite it this way, 13/5. Let's do another illustration. If you have, let's just say, 10 times, let's just say two, you and I know that's 20, but here's a way to express this as division. Again, you keep the first number 10, you're changing the operation from multiplication to division, but like we had talked about before, you're going to take the two and find its reciprocal. So, can be thought of 2/1. So, the reciprocal of 2/1 is going to be 1/2. So, 10 times two is the same thing as saying 10 divided by 1/2. So, when you're changing from multiplication to division, you are changing the operation and you are also rewriting the number into its reciprocal. So, I'm Jimmy Chang and there's a couple of illustrations on how to change from multiplication to division.


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