Multiply 3 numbers

Learning focus

Learn how to multiply three 1-digit numbers together.

This lesson includes:

  • a catch-up quiz
  • one video
  • a learning summary


To get started, let's see how well you know this topic already. Take the catch-up quiz below to find out.


First, watch this Teacher Talk video to find out how to multiply three 1-digit numbers together.

If you can multiply 2 numbers together, then this will help you multiply 3 numbers together!

How could you answer 3 x 8 x 2 using this array?

There are 3 rows of 8 cookies, so this array shows 3 x 8 = 24.

Now you have to multiply this by 2 to find the answer.

24 x 2 = 48


3 x 8 x 2 = 48

This calculation was much easier, when we broke it down into stages.

You don’t need to always rely on arrays to help you solve multiplication problems involving three numbers.

Sometimes, it is easier and quicker to think, which numbers should I multiply first.

Example 1

What is 4 x 3 x 7?

Think which multiplication is easiest to solve first by using your times tables knowledge.

4 x 3 x 7 = 12 x 7


4 x 3 x 7 = 4 x 21


4 x 3 x 7 = 28 x 3

It doesn't matter which one you choose to do first, you'll get the same answer at the end.

Solving 4 x 3 first to make 12 and then multiplying by 7 would probably be the easiest option to do in your head.

4 x 3 = 12

and then work out:

12 x 7 = 84

Sometimes it might not be easy to find the times tables link or use an array. This is when you could use short multiplication to help you.

Example 2

What is 8 x 9 x 7?

Whichever numbers you chose to multiply first, you will always have a large 2-digit number multiplied by a 1-digit number.

Let’s solve 8 x 9 first.

8 x 9 = 72

Now let’s work out 72 x 7 using short multiplication:

Here's how you could solve this calculation using short multiplication:

  • Multiply 2 x 7 first to make 14.
  • Write the 4 in the ones column and carry the 1 into the tens column - you always need to make sure your place value is correct!
  • Then solve 70 x 7 = 490. Don’t forget about the extra ten: 490 + 10 = 500.


8 x 9 x 7 = 504


Play Guardians: Defenders of Mathematica to learn more and sharpen your skills on this topic.

Guardians: Defenders of Mathematica

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