1.1.3 Multiplying and Dividing Real Numbers Key Objectives • Multiply and divide signed real numbers. • Multiply and divide with fractions. • Multiply and divide with zero. Key Terms • Two numbers are reciprocals if their product is 1. For example, the reciprocal of 2/3 is 3/2.

When two numbers are multiplied or divided, the signs of the numbers being multiplied or divided determine whether the result is positive or negative, as summarized in the following table.

Example 1 Multiplying Signed Numbers To multiply two signed numbers, multiply their absolute values and then apply a sign to the product according to the following rules. • If their signs are the same (either both positive or both negative), then the product is positive. • If their signs are different (one is positive and the other is negative), then their product is negative.

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