Factoring – making use of the Distributive Property

A factor is a number that have the right to be separated into another number evenly. Because that example, the components of 6 are 1, 2, 3, and 6. Every one of these numbers can be separated evenly right into 6.

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We deserve to look because that common factors within a mathematics statement. We usage factoring to discover these typical factors. Take, for example, the statement:

3x + 3y

In the over statement, the number 3 is a common factor in between the two terms in the statement, 3x and 3y. We can divide 3 into both number evenly. This is likewise called “factoring out” 3.


Finding the common factor enables us to apply the Distributive Property come the statement. The Distributive Property uses multiplication to an existing addition statement. It way that a number external the clip of an addition problem deserve to be multiplied by each number inside the parentheses. Or in the opposite case, a typical factor have the right to be factored out and written external the parentheses.

So, with 3 as our common factor, the declare 3x + 3y i do not care 3(x + y), or 3 multiply by “x + y.”

You can always check your work-related by multiply the number in your answer. Because that 3(x + y), girlfriend can check your work-related as follows:


Here is another example:

2a + 6b

In the over statement, the usual factor have the right to be discovered by breaking down the numbers.

In the very first term, 2a, the 2 have the right to be factored under to 2 •1.

In the 2nd term, 6b, the 6 deserve to be factored down to 2 • 3.

You have the right to now watch that 2 is the common factor, and also we can now apply the Distributive Property.


So, the explain 2a + 6b have the right to be written as 2(a + 3b), or 2 multiplied by “a + 3b.”

Here is one more example:

5xy + 15xz

In the over statement, the common factor consists of the variable, x, because it is common between the two terms in the statement. Any letter variable that appears in both terms have the right to be factored out.

Now, let’s aspect out the numbers:

5 = 5 • 1

15 = 5 • 3

We find that 5 is part of the common factor. The other part, x, provides the common factor 5x.

So, 5xy + 15xz have the right to be written as 5x(y + 3z).

To examine the work:


This is our initial statement, 5xy + 15xz, therefore our work-related is correct.

Greatest common Factor (GCF)

There will certainly be times as soon as you see a statement whereby there is much more than one typical factor. Because that example, in the explain 4x + 12y, you can failure the numbers together follows:

4 = 2 • 2

12 = 2 • 6

So, at an initial glance, the may show up that 2 is the usual factor. Actually, over there is a bigger number that can serve together the typical factor.

4 = 2 • 2

12 = 2 • 2 • 3

As seen here, the number 12 in reality breaks down to 2 • 2 • 3. Provided this, the typical factor in between these terms is actually 2 • 2, or 4.

So, the break down looks much more like this:

4 = 4 • 1

12 = 4 • 3

In this example, the number 4 is the Greatest common Factor, or GCF. So, the statement 4x + 12y deserve to be composed as 4(x + 3y).

Now let’s practice.

1. Find the common factor in 7a + 7b.

2. Discover the typical factor in 5x + 5y.

3. Discover the usual factor in 3x + 12y.

4. Discover the usual factor in 2a + 14b.

5. Discover the usual factor in 3ab + 4ac + 5ad.

6. Discover the common factor in 5ab + 10ac + 20az.

7. Find the greatest typical factor in 4x + 16y.

8. Discover the greatest common factor in 8x + 20y + 16z.

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9. Uncover the greatest typical factor in 12bc + 6bd + 36be.

Now, let’s element the following statements utilizing the Distributive Property: