Multiplication word problems

Multiplication word problems arise in situations where we do repeated addition of the same number. Think of multiplication as a shortcut for adding the same number multiple times.

Consider the following situations, but you will need to study or review multiplication of whole numbers before proceeding with this lesson. Problem #1:

An apartment has 4 bedrooms. Each bedroom has 3 bookcases. How many bookcases are there in the apartment?


Using addition, you can argue that there are 12 bookcases in the apartment.
( 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12)

However, the problem can be solved faster by doing a multiplication of 3 and 4 since 3 × 4 = 12

In general, multiplication gives the same answer as repeated addition.

Problem #2:

There are 60 minutes in 1 hour. How many minutes are there in 12 hours?


Once again, you can use addition to solve this problem, but you will waste your time since you have to do repeated addition of 60 twelve times.

60+60+60+60+60+60+60+60+60+60+60+60 = 720

However, 60 × 12 = 720 gives you the same answer faster

Problem #3:

Mr. John's new hybrid car gets him 50 miles per gallons.If Mr John get a full tank with 14 gallons of gas, How far can Mr John go?


Number of miles = 50 × 14 = 700 miles.

Problem #4:

Sylvia's income is 500 dollars per week. How much does Sylvia makes every year?

1 year = 52 weeks.

Thus, 500 × 52 = 26,000 dollars

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