You are here:

Word Problems/Multiplication



Which one of the following (1. or 2.) best represents the following: What multiplied by 3/4 equals 12?

1. ? X 3/4 = 12

2. 3/4 X ? = 12

Either one can be used to represent it, but (1) is much more obvious.

Using (1), it is clear that the number is being multiplied by the 3 and
then divided by the 12.

Using (2), even though the number put in is to be multiplied by 3/4,
some might multiply by the 4 first, and then divide that into 3.
They would do the problem as if it were 3/(4 X ?).

It is really (3/4) X ? = 12, but the parenthesis aren't there.

Now on the 1st one, there are also know parenthesis, but they aren't necessary.
If you compute it as (? X 3)/4 or ? X (3/4), the same result is gotten.

Even if the question were, "When 3/4 is multiplied by some number, the answer is 12",
where the 3/4 is the 1st number and the '?' is mentioned after, it is best to write the '?' 1st.

Many times this occurs when the problem is written as a fraction in a book.
When putting this down by typing it in, putting it on one line can put in a question
when it is done the 2nd way.  Because of this, it is recommended to put it in the 1st way or
as (3/4) X ? = 12 so there is no way it can be done as 3/(4 X ?).

By the way, for 1st answer is 16, since when multiplied by 3/4 12 is gotten.
On the 2nd question, however, it could be 1/16.  That is because 4 times 1/16 is 1/4,
and when 3 is divided by 1/4, the result is 12.  

Word Problems

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Scott A Wilson


I have answered every question that was a story problems that had any relation to math for which an answer existed. I have ever answered some questions which had a vague relation to math, but still related.


My experience is from when I started doing story problems in grade school. I have been assisting, helping, and bringing smiles to many others ever since. Are you the next one?

In over 850 questions answered to other users. Maybe you're the next one ...

I received a BA in Mathematical Sciences from OSU and a MS in Mathematics from OSU as well.

Awards and Honors
I earned Both my BS degree and MS degree with honors for having such a high grade point average.

Past/Present Clients
I have answered hundreds and hundreds of students at OSU in the 80's and over 8,500 questions right here, but only a little over 850 of them have been word problems.

©2017 All rights reserved.