How do you find factors of a number?


Quick Answer

Factors are the numbers that are multiplied together to get another number. To find the factors of a given number, the number is divided by other numbers smaller than the given number, as the factor of any number cannot be greater than the number itself.

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Full Answer

For instance, to find the factors of 28, it is divided by numbers less than 28. Since 28 is an even number, 2 is a factor of 28. Similarly, 4, 7 and 14 also divide 28 exactly and do not leave a remainder, thus, the factors of 28 are 1, 2, 4, 7, 14 and 28. The numbers 2 and 7 are also prime numbers, so the prime factors of 28 are the numbers 2 and 7 only. Prime factors do not include any products of the factors, 4 and 14 in this example. The number 1 is not a prime number, and 2 is the only even prime number.

If the number that has to be factored is an even number, division should be started with 2. If the given number is odd, then 2 is not a factor and the smaller odd numbers such as 3, 5 or 7 should be tried.

The smallest factor of any number is always the number 1, and the largest factor of any given number is the number itself.

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