What Is Long Multiplication: Explained For Primary School Parents And Kids

Long multiplication is multiplying a number with two or more digits by a two-digit number, e.g. 34 x 27, 851 x 82 or 4,274 x 93.

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What is long multiplication?

Long multiplication is a method of multiplying larger numbers together. In the primary curriculum long multiplication is taught for multiplying two, three and four digit numbers by two digit numbers.

The mathematics appendix in the National Curriculum demonstrates the formal method of long multiplication:

Long multiplication in primary school

The first and third multiplication demonstrate the most common method of laying out long multiplication. Take 124 x 26 as an example: 26 is partitioned to become 20 and 6. 124 is multiplied by 6 first, which equals 744; 126 is then multiplied by 20 to become 2480; 2480 and 744 are added together to make 3224.

In order to succeed at long multiplication, it is essential that children are fluent in their times tables.

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When will my child learn about long multiplication in primary school?

Children first learn about the long multiplication method in Year 5, where they are expected to multiply numbers up to 4 digits by a one- or two-digit number using a formal written method, including long multiplication for two-digit numbers. This is continued in Year 6.

Wondering about how to explain other key maths vocabulary to your children? Check out our Primary Maths Dictionary, or try these primary maths terms:

Practice questions

1. 746 x 23 =

(Answer: 17,158)

2. A box contains trays of melons. There are 15 melons in a tray. There are 3 trays in a box. A supermarket sells 40 boxes of melons. How many melons does the supermarket sell?

(Answer: 15 x 3 x 40 = 1,800)

3. Write the two missing digits to make this long multiplication correct.

Long multiplication questions

(Answer: 41 x 26)

4. A toy shop orders 11 boxes of marbles. Each box contains 6 bags of marbles. Each bag contains 45 marbles. How many marbles does the shop order in total?

(Answer: 11 x 6 x 45 = 2,970)

5. A shop sells sheets of sticky labels. On each sheet there are 36 rows and 18 columns of labels. How many labels are there altogether on 45 sheets?

(Answer: 36 x 18 x 45 = 29,160)

If you’re looking for additional maths support for any child or pupil who’s struggling – or who needs a bit of a push – get in touch. We specialise in teaching 1-to-1 addressing each child’s needs in maths individually.

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Sophie Bartlett
Sophie Bartlett
Year 6 Teacher
Sophie is a grammar pedant, author and editor for Third Space as well as teaching in a small school in England.
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