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Word problems (mult/div) and comparison


Bigger or smaller?

We've looked at how multiplication is a way of making something bigger a number of times, as well as division as a way of making something a number of times smaller. 

When we have a word problem, we don't always know if we need to multiply or divide. What can we do to solve the problem? By looking for clues, we can see if our number is getting bigger (multiplication), or smaller (division).

Let's see some examples of multiplication and division, using words such as more, less, taller and shorter. Can you think of other words that also mean we need to multiply or divide?


Using the words in sentences helps us decide if we need to use multiplication or division. When things are getting bigger, or we are making groups, we are multiplying. When things are being shared, and we end up with less, we are dividing.

Worked Examples


Buzz has $7$7 books. Mae has $4$4 times as many books as Buzz.

  1. How many books does Mae have?


An apartment block is $36$36 metres tall and a house is $6$6 metres tall.

  1. How many times smaller is the house than the apartment block?


What number would $X$X stand for in the following equation (number sentence)?


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