What is a multiple in maths?

Understanding multiples can help you find patterns, solve equations and strengthen your multiplication and division skills!

Katie Wickliff headshot

Author
Katie Wickliff

Published
November 8, 2023

What is a multiple in maths?

Understanding multiples can help you find patterns, solve equations and strengthen your multiplication and division skills!

Katie Wickliff headshot

Author
Katie Wickliff

Published
Nov 8, 2023

What is a multiple in maths?

Understanding multiples can help you find patterns, solve equations and strengthen your multiplication and division skills!

Katie Wickliff headshot

Author
Katie Wickliff

Published
Nov 8, 2023

Key takeaways

  • Multiples are the numbers you get when you multiply other numbers together
  • Many numbers have an unlimited number of multiples, but some numbers have only a few
  • Being able to find common multiples is an essential part of working with fractions

Understanding the concept of multiples is key to mastering multiplication. In this article, we’ll explain what multiples are and provide examples of the multiples of 3 through 12. Let’s get started!

What are multiples?

In maths, multiples are the numbers you get when you multiply other numbers together.

For example, when we multiply 2×5, our answer (also called the product) is 10. So, 10 is a multiple of 2 and also a multiple of 5.

Properties of multiples

  • Besides 0, the rest of the natural numbers have an infinite number of multiples
  • Every multiple of a number is larger or equal to that number
  • Every number is a multiple of itself
  • Some numbers are a multiple of themselves and 1. These are called prime numbers.
  • Using the repeated subtraction process as a foundation can help students gain the confidence to tackle more complex division problems with varying strategies, such as short or long division.

Multiples examples

Below are the first several multiples of numbers. As we know, many numbers have an infinite number of multiples. 

Multiples of 3: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33

Multiples of 4: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44

Multiples of 5: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55

Multiples of 6: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66

Multiples of 7: 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63, 70, 77

Multiples of 8: 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72, 80, 88

Multiples of 9: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99

Multiples of 10: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110

Multiples of 12: 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, 120

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Common multiples

Common multiples are the multiples that two or more numbers share. When working with fractions, a student will often need to know common multiples and be able to find the least common multiple. For example, let’s look at the multiples of numbers 3 and 9. 

Multiples of 3: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33

Multiples of 9: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99

The multiples that both 3 and 9 have in common are: 9, 18, and 27. Note: 3 and 9 have more common multiples, but these are the first few. 

Practice questions for multiples in maths

Now that you understand multiples, demonstrate your knowledge by completing these five problems. For even more practice, head over to DoodleLearning’s award-winning maths appScroll down the page for the answers!

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_1

The first three multiples of the number 9 are: 

  1. 1, 9, 18
  2. 1, 3, 9
  3. 0, 9, 18
  4. 9, 18, 27
Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_2

I am the least common multiple of the numbers 6 and 12. What number am I?

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_3

Fill in the blanks with the first five multiples of the number 4.

4, ____, ____, _____, _____, ____

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_4

The number of stuffed animals in Ella’s collection is a 2-digit number that is divisible by 6 and a multiple of 4. She has less than 30 stuffed animals but more than 15 in her collection. How many stuffed animals does Ella have? Show your thinking.

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_5

Which of the following numbers is not a common multiple of 8 and 10? Circle all that apply.

  1. 8
  2. 40
  3. 24
  4. 80

Answer sheet

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_1

D

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_2

12

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_3

8, 12, 16, 20, 24

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_4

24

Show your thinking:

First, list out the multiples of 4 that are less than 30: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28

Next, find the multiples that are divisible by 6: 12,  24

If Ella has more than 15 animals in her collection, the answer must be 24.

Doodle-Blog-NumberIcons_5

A, C are not common multiples of both 8 and 10

FAQs about multiples

A multiple is the number you get when you multiply other numbers together.

The least common multiple is the smallest multiple two (or more) numbers have in common. For example, to find the least common multiple of 4 and 6, you’d compare their multiples:

Multiples of 4: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20….

Multiples of 6: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30….

The smallest number both 4 and 6 have in common is 12, so 12 is the least common multiple.

Factors and multiples are closely related: factors are the numbers that can be multiplied together. A multiple is the product of multiplying factors together.

Group 208

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Katie Wickliff headshot

Katie Wickliff

Katie holds a master’s degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in both Journalism and English. She has over 15 years of education experience and tutor. Most importantly, Katie is the mother of two students, ages 8 and 11. She is passionate about education and firmly believes that the right tools and support will help every student reach their full potential.

Katie Wickliff headshot

Katie Wickliff

Katie holds a master’s degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in both Journalism and English. She has over 15 years of education experience and tutor. Most importantly, Katie is the mother of two students, ages 8 and 11. She is passionate about education and firmly believes that the right tools and support will help every student reach their full potential.

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