Numbers: Getting to grips with division
Numbers: Getting to grips with division

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Numbers: Getting to grips with division

1 Ways of expressing division

Division is the opposite of multiplication. If you say:

  • What do I get if I divide 20 by 4?

It is equivalent to saying:

  • What do I have to multiply 4 by to get 20?

Division can be expressed in various ways. You can say:

  • divided by – as in ‘8 divided by 4’
  • over – as in ‘8 over 4’
  • divided between – as in ‘8 apples divided equally between 4 people’.

It can also be expressed as how many times one number ‘goes into’ another. As you will see below, this is similar to wording the division as if it were a multiplication.

So the following expressions all mean the same thing:

  • What do I get if I divide 20 by 4?
  • What is 20 over 4?
  • What do I have to multiply 4 by to get 20?
  • How many times does 4 go into 20?

Division calculations can also be represented in several different ways. All of the following mean 20 divided by 4:

Described image
Figure 1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus