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

# 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:

Figure 1
Div_1