A multiple is a number that can be divided by another number evenly without leaving a remainder. Multiples are the answers within any set of times tables.

**What is a multiple in maths?**

If you are wondering, ‘What is a multiple in maths?’ you have come to the right place. A multiple is a number that can be divided by another number evenly without leaving a remainder. Multiples are the answers from any times table question, e.g., with the equation 3 × 4 = 12, 12 is a multiple of both 3 and 4.

If looking for the multiples of 4, all the answers in the four times table would be multiples.

The timetables are great for showing children multiple examples of multiples! Fluency and confidence with the timetables will help children not only with their understanding of multiples but with a host of other mathematical skills and strategies.

**Multiple examples:**

4, 8, 12, 16, 20, etc

Multiples of 2: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, etc

Multiples of 7: 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63, 70, 77, 84, etc

Multiples are often confused with but are not the same as factors, which are the numbers that another number divides into exactly. In our example from earlier, three × 4 = 12, 3 and 4 would be factors of 12 as they are the numbers multiplied together to get 12.

A number can be both a factor and a multiple. For example, 12 is a multiple of 1 and 12, 2 and 6, and 3 and 4. A number can be a multiple of a range of different numbers, provided it comes up in multiple times tables families.

**Some rules about multiples to remember:**

- All numbers are multiples of 1.
- All numbers are multiples of themselves (e.g., 7 is a multiple of 7 because it is the same as 7 x 1).
- The multiples of a number are greater than or equal to the number itself.
- 0 is a multiple of every number since any number multiplied by 0 is 0.
- There are infinite multiples for each number because you can keep multiplying it by infinitely greater numbers.

**What is a common multiple?**

While you may have confidence answering the question, ‘What is a multiple?’ you may now find yourself somewhat unsure when faced with the follow-on thought of ‘What is a common multiple?’ A common multiple is a multiple that appears in more than one times table.

Returning to our tried and tested example from earlier, three × 4 = 12, which means that 12 would be a common multiple for 3 and 4 as it appears in both of those times table families. It also pops up in a few others (it is such a popular multiple, you see). The multiple 12 is found in the 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 times tables, making 12 a multiple of those numbers.

Children may be faced with questions such as ‘Identify the common multiples for 2 and 5.’ When faced with such a task, the question is, ‘find all the numbers that appear in both times tables.’