Divisor and dividend are often confused by the students. Whether they’re learning math in their traditional face-to-face classes or taking extra sessions from an online tutor, students can’t skip this topic and jump to the easier one!
Divisor and dividend are the roots of the divisibility rule. Both terms sound familiar and even in math you always see them together. However, both expressions hold different meanings and are used to represent different terms.
In this blog, I’ve explained what divisors and dividends are in very simple words. You’ll also find examples down below.
Click on the “Table of Contents” button for getting a glimpse of the topics I’ve covered in this blog.
The divisor is the number that is used to divide another number in the process of division. Here is an example:
In easy words, you can say that divisor is a number that attacks any number.
Now, comes the dividend. The number that is being attacked by the divisor is called the dividend. Mathematically, the number that is being divided is called a dividend, as shown in the image below:
Now, in this entire process, the number that we get as a result of dividing the dividend by the divisor is called the quotient.
Here is another way of writing the above equation:
In math, we’ve formulae for almost everything and divisor/dividend is no exception! You talk about the area of parallelograms or the interior angles of a polygon, math has standard formulae for all these terms.
The formula used for divisor and dividend is:
The divisor can be brought to the L.H.S to find the dividend's value. But, according to the math rule, when something is being divided on the R.H.S and is taken to the L.H.S, it should be multiplied by the value on the L.H.S. So, you can also write the equation (a) as:
DIVIDEND = QUOTIENT × DIVISOR
As discussed above, the number that divides any digit is called a divisor. We can also call it a factor of that number. When finding the factors of an integral you can use the box-line method.
Let’s say, you want to find the factors of number 15, and write it on the top-left corner of the box-line (just like I did in the image below). Then, find the smallest number that could be divided by it. In this case, 3 is the smallest divisor that can be divided by 15. As a result, we get “5” as a quotient. Now, you’ve got to focus on the new quotient “5” to solve the equation further. 5 is the only smallest number that can be completely divided by the quotient “5”.
Hence, the factors or divisors of 15 are 3 and 5.
The same method can be used for finding the factors of other integers.
The divisors and factors are kind of the same. Divisors are digits that divide any number. On the other hand, factors are the divisors that divide the number and leave zero remainders.
The divisors of 18 are 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 18.
Mathematically, negative divisors do exit. However, we usually consider the positive divisors.