# Explain The Difference Between A Factor And Multiple?

The difference between a factor and multiple is quite straightforward but can be confusing!

A factor is a number that divides evenly into another number whereas a multiple is the number obtained when a number is multiplied.

Taking the number 12 as an example, the factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12. All of those numbers can be divided into 12 and will come up with a whole number. There is a set amount of factors.

The multiples of 12 are unlimited, multiplying 12 by any full number gives you a multiple of 12. The first multiples of 12 are 12 itself followed by 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, etc.

Both multiples and factors have to be whole numbers. Factors and multiples can easily be confused but when you split them into division and multiplication it makes the distinction easier. Another easy distinction is the fact that there are a distinct number of factors whilst there are a limitless number of multiples.

A number can be both a factor and multiple, in the example given above, 12 is both a factor and a multiple of 12. This holds true for every number. The number 2 is a factor of every even number whilst 1 is also a factor of every number.

With these types of questions it is often best to read the question out audibly in order to fully understand it. When you are in the middle of a maths paper it can sometimes get confusing when different thoughts and calculations are going round in your head. By reading out a question, things can fall into place. Reading out your answer can have a similar effect and reduce the chances of making errors.
thanked the writer. 