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Using Mathematical Terms (sum, product, factor)

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Learning text on the topic Using Mathematical Terms (sum, product, factor)

Using Mathematical Terms

Welcome to the fascinating world of mathematical terms! Problem-solving and reasoning questions often use high level mathematical terms. In this text, we'll explore crucial terms like sum, product and factor. These terms are the building blocks of mathematics, and understanding them is key to mastering many mathematical concepts.

Understanding Mathematical Terms

It is important to have a deep understanding of each of the mathematical terms to understand what mathematical operation needs to be completed. Therefore, you will find a detailed explanation of sum, product and factor below.

Sum – Definition and Application

The sum is the result of adding two or more numbers together.

In a written task such as ‘The sum of two numbers is 15. If one number is 8, what is the other number?’ it is important to understand the role the word ‘sum’ plays in this problem. When we see the word sum, it doesn’t always mean find the sum, but rather it is a clue as to what needs to be done to solve the problem. Sometimes you might need to use the inverse operation, which for sum would be subtraction.


Product – Definition and Application

The product is the result of multiplying two or more numbers.

The term product refers to the result of multiplying two or more numbers or expressions. In a task like, "Find the product of 7 and 7," you must recognise that finding the product means performing multiplication. This term is crucial in understanding how to combine numbers and variables in algebraic expressions. Sometimes, the question might suggest the product is a given value, in which case you might need to use the inverse operation, division, to solve the problem.


Factor– Definition and Application

A factor is a number that divides into another number without leaving a remainder.

A factor is a number or expression that divides another number or expression evenly, with no remainder. In problems like, "List all of the factors of 24," you need to identify numbers that can perfectly divide 24 (such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24). Understanding factors is key in simplifying fractions, finding the greatest common factors, and solving division-related problems. It’s about recognising the building blocks that make up a number.


Factors are important, and they are applied in Prime Factorisation, Least Common Multiples, and Finding the Greatest Common Factor.

Mathematical Terms – Application

Test your understanding of mathematical terms with these questions.

What is the sum of 5 and 8?
What is the product of 4 and 6?
Is 2 a factor of 14?

Mathematical Terms Summary

Key Learnings from this Text:

  • Understanding mathematical terms like sum, product and factor is essential.

  • These terms are used in various mathematical operations and expressions.

  • Recognising and applying these terms correctly enhances your mathematical comprehension and problem-solving skills.

  • Here is a table of the terms and definitions for you to reference or make a copy of for your use.

Term Definition
Sum The result of adding two or more numbers together.
Product The result of multiplying two or more numbers.
Factor A number that divides another number exactly, without leaving a remainder.

Keep practising these terms in different mathematical contexts to strengthen your understanding. Remember, these terms are not just numbers or expressions; they help structure the world of mathematics!

Mathematical Terms – Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a sum?
What does 'product' mean in maths?
How do you define a factor?
Is the sum always larger than the numbers added?
Are factors always smaller than the number they divide?

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