What is the Least Common Multiple?

Definition, Examples, Facts

In the magical realm of mathematics, we often encounter situations where we need to find a common ground between numbers. That’s where the concept of the Least Common Multiple (LCM) comes into play.

What is the Least Common Multiple?

Definition, Examples, Facts

In the magical realm of mathematics, we often encounter situations where we need to find a common ground between numbers. That’s where the concept of the Least Common Multiple (LCM) comes into play.

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What Is Least Common Multiple (LCM)?

How to Find Least Common Multiple (LCM)?

Relationship Between LCM and HCF

Difference Between LCM and HCF


What Is Least Common Multiple (LCM)?

The Least- Common Multiple of two, (LCM) is the smallest or least common multiple that two or more numbers have in common. In simpler terms, it is the smallest number that can be evenly divided by all the given numbers.

Finding the lowest or least common, smallest multiple, of LCM helps us determine a common reference point for the given numbers together, making it easier to perform operations and solve problems involving multiple quantities.

How to Find Least Common Multiple (LCM)?

Finding the Least Common Multiple, or LCM, is like looking for a special number that can play nicely with a group of other numbers. It’s to find the least common multiple lcm smallest number that all your chosen numbers can divide evenly into without leaving anything behind. But how do we find this friendly number? Here are some find the least common smallest multiple of different methods of:

  1. Listing the Multiples Method: This method is about multiplying multiple integers, and writing out the most common multiples of each number and finding the first one they all share.
  2. Prime Factorization: Here, you break down each number into its basic building blocks (prime numbers) and use them to find the LCM.
  3. Using the Greatest Common Divisor (GCD): First, find the GCD of your numbers. Then, use a simple formula: LCM(a, b) = (a × b) / GCD(a, b).
  4. Using the Cake Method (Ladder Method): This visual method breaks numbers down step-by-step, similar to a ladder. By repeatedly dividing by prime numbers, you can find common factors and their multiples.
  5. Using the Division Method: Start by dividing the given numbers with prime numbers. Continue dividing until you reach a stage where all numbers become 1, then multiply the divisors for the LCM.
  6. Using the Venn Diagram: By breaking numbers into prime factors and placing them in intersecting circles, you can visually identify shared and unique factors, multiplying them together for the LCM.

Choose the method that makes the most sense to you, and you’ll have the tools you need to find the LCM!

How to Find LCM by Listing Multiples

Think of the “Listing Multiples Method” like sorting out toys or candies by type or color. To start, you choose the numbers you want to find the LCM for. Then, you list out all list and find the least common list numbers is the smallest multiples of numbers that each one can make when you multiply it. It’s like counting by that same number: if you pick 4, you’d then list the least common multiples of 4, 8, 12, 16, and so on. Do this for each number. Then, look at your lists and find the first number that appears on all of them. That’s your LCM! This method is like playing a matching game, and it’s a fun and visual way to understand how numbers work together.

Least Common Multiple
  1. Identify the numbers for which you want to find the LCM.

  2. Begin by listing the multiples of each number.

  3. Look for the smallest common multiple that appears in the list for all the numbers.


Solved Examples On Least Common Multiple

Example 1: Find the LCM of 4 and 6.

  1. Multiples of 4: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, …
  2. Multiples of 6: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, …
  3. By examining the lists, we find that 12 is the smallest and least common multiple out list the multiples of two, 4 and 6. Therefore, the smallest positive LCM of two integers 4 and 6 is 12.

Example 2: Find the LCM of 8 and 12. 

  1. Multiples of 8: 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, …
  2. Multiples of 12: 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, …
  3. The smallest and lowest common multiple in the lists is 24. Therefore, the lowest common multiple for the LCM of 8 and 12 is 24.

Example 3: Find the LCM of 15 and 20.

  1. Multiples of 15: 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, …
  2. Multiples of 20: 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, …
  3. The smallest common multiple in the lists is 60. Therefore, the smallest positive integer for the least common multiple of two LCM of 15 and 20 is 60.

Example 4: Find the LCM of 10, 12, and 15.

  1. Multiples of 10: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, …
  2. Multiples of 12: 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, …
  3. Multiples of 15: 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, …
  4. The smallest common and lowest multiple of in the lists is 60. Therefore, the least common of multiples multiples of LCM of 10, 12, and 15 is 60


How to Find LCM by Prime Factorization

Imagine each number as a puzzle, and the prime factorization method of 12+ is like taking each puzzle apart to see its tiniest pieces. To find the LCM using the prime factorization method, follow these steps:

  1. Break It Down: Start your math by breaking each number into its prime factors. It’s like seeing what tiny building blocks make up your number.
  2. List the Factors: Write down all the prime factors of each number. Some numbers might share some common multiples of prime factors, while others might have unique ones.
  3. Build Your LCM: To get the highest power of LCM, take the highest power of all the other prime numbers and factors you listed. It’s like building a new puzzle using the most pieces from each of your original prime numbers together.


By using the prime factorization method given numbers, you’re diving deep into the heart of numbers, and this prime factorization method lets you see how numbers can come together in harmony to find the answer to LCM.

How to Find the LCM Using the Division Method

Think of the Division Method as a step-by-step journey where you and the numbers work together. Here’s how you travel this path:

  1. Start Together: Place the two numbers you want to find the LCM for side by side.
  2. Divide by the Smallest Prime: Begin by dividing them by the smallest prime number that can divide at least one of the smaller prime numbers from below. Write the results below. If a number isn’t divisible by whatever of smaller prime numbers that is the smallest prime, just carry it down as is.
  3. Continue Dividing: Keep dividing the resulting numbers evenly divisible by prime factorization into smaller numbers. Each time, carry down any number that’s not evenly divisible by prime factorization into bigger numbers.
  4. Reach the End: Continue this process until you end up with all ones at the bottom.
  5. Multiply for the LCM: The LCM is found by multiplying all the prime numbers you have calculated and used to divide.


Using the Division Method is like playing a teamwork game with numbers. With each division step, you get closer to the prize: the LCM!

How to Find LCM Using the Cake Method (Ladder Method)

Picture the Cake Method as baking a special layered cake where each layer helps you get closer to your delicious LCM. Here’s your recipe:

  1. Gather Your Ingredients: Write the numbers you want to find the LCM for next to each other, like you’re setting up ingredients for baking.
  2. Layer by Layer: Divide these numbers by a prime number that can go into at least one of them. Write the results beneath last row of given numbers. If a number isn’t divisible or multiple it by that prime, simply write it down unchanged.
  3. Add More Layers: Continue dividing the results by prime numbers, just like you’d build up layers of a cake. Each time you divide, you’re adding another layer!
  4. Finish Your Cake: When all your numbers have been reduced to 1, your cake is complete.
  5. Taste the LCM: Multiply all the prime numbers you used to divide, and you’ll get the LCM. It’s the sweet result of your efforts!


The Cake (or Ladder) Method is a fun, visual way of combining numbers layer by layer, until you end up with the perfect LCM treat. Enjoy every step of the baking.

How to Find LCM Using the GCF Division Method

The GCF Division Method is like using a secret shortcut that both simplifies and speeds up the process of finding the LCM. Here’s your guide to this shortcut:

  1. Find numbers is the smallest GCF: Start by determining numbers is the next smallest number of Greatest Common Factor (GCF) of the two numbers you want to find the LCM for. This is the biggest number that can divide both numbers without leaving a remainder.
  2. Use the Formula: Once you have the GCF, you can use a straightforward formula: LCM(a, b) = (a × b) / GCF(a, b). This means you’ll multiply the two numbers together and then divide by their GCF.
  3. Result Time: The calculated result from the above calculation is your LCM.


By using the GCF Division Method, you’re leaning on the relationship between the LCM and GCF of two numbers. It’s a quicker path to the LCM, making math a bit more magical and much more efficient.

How to Find the LCM Using Venn Diagrams

Using Venn Diagrams to find the LCM turns math into a visual adventure. By drawing circles and filling them in, you’ll create a picture of how your numbers relate to one another. Here’s how to sketch your way to the LCM:

  1. Draw the Diagram: Start by drawing two overlapping circles for two or more numbers between numbers (add another two or more numbers between circles for additional two or more numbers, if necessary). These circles represent the prime factors of your numbers.
  2. Factorize and Fill: Break down each number into its own prime factorization of factors. Place the unique prime factorization of 12 first factors of the first number in its circle section, and do the same for the second number. For common prime factorization of factors shared by both numbers, place them in the overlapping section of the circles.
  3. Construct the LCM: To find the LCM, multiply all the prime factors from both circles, including whatever numbers is the smallest overlapping section. This means you’ll use all the common factors but only once.


Seeing the two numbers, and their relationships through Venn Diagrams makes finding the LCM a hands-on, visual experience. It’s like piecing together a puzzle, with the final picture showing the perfect balance of the two numbers you started with.

Relationship Between LCM and HCF

LCM (Least Common Multiple) and HCF (Highest Common Factor) are two fundamental concepts in mathematics, and they share a unique relationship. For any two given numbers, the product of their LCM and HCF is always equal to the product of those two numbers. In other words, for two numbers a and b:


This relationship illustrates how these two concepts, one focused on common multiples and the other on common factors, intertwine to connect with the inherent properties of the numbers they represent. Understanding this link provides a deeper insight into the structure and relationship of numbers in mathematics.

Difference Between LCM and HCF

LCM (Least Common Multiple) and HCF (Highest Common Factor) are both vital mathematical concepts, but they serve distinct purposes and represent different aspects of numbers. Here are the key differences:

  1. Definition: The LCM of two numbers is the smallest number that is a multiple of both, while the HCF is the largest number that can divide both numbers without leaving a remainder.
  2. Purpose: LCM is used to find the smallest common denominator when adding or subtracting fractions, whereas HCF helps simplify fractions to their lowest terms.
  3. Method: To find LCM, we look for the least number common among the multiples, while for HCF, we search for the highest number common among the factors.
  4. Relationship: The product of two numbers is equal to the product of their LCM and HCF.
  5. Application: LCM is often used in problems related to time, work, and synchronization, while HCF is applied in problems dealing with distribution, grouping, or sharing.


Understanding the difference between LCM and HCF aids in the proper application of these concepts, ensuring accurate and effective problem-solving in mathematics

Frequently Asked Questions On Least Common Multiple 

Why is finding the LCM important?

Finding the LCM helps us determine a common reference point when working with multiple numbers, making calculations and comparisons more manageable.


Can the LCM of two numbers be smaller than both numbers?

No, the LCM of two numbers is always equal to or greater than the given numbers.


Is there a shortcut to find the LCM?

Yes, prime factorization is another method to find the LCM quickly. It involves breaking down each number into its prime factors and identifying the common and uncommon factors.


Can the LCM be negative?

No, the LCM is always a positive number.


Can the LCM of more than two numbers be found using the listing the multiples method?

Yes, the listing the multiples method can be applied to find the LCM of multiple numbers by considering all the given numbers together.


What are Prime Factors?

Prime factors are prime numbers that can divide another prime number without leaving a remainder. They are the basic building blocks used to express a number as a product of primes.


What is the fastest way to find the LCM?

The quickest method varies based on the numbers in question. For two smaller numbers, it’s efficient to enumerate their multiples. However, for three or more numbers, employing the prime factorization approach is advisable.


How do you find the LCM?

Find an LCM by using two integers and multiplying them. Lists the first multiple in a given number. Look at multiples in the list. If a list does not have a common multiple, write a separate common multiple on each number. See the lowest value of the two lists. These numbers are known as CLM.


What is the LCM of 8 and 12?

LCM of 8 and 12 is 24. Looking at the multiples of the two numbers, for 8 we have 8, 16, 24, 32, and for 12 we have 12, 24, 36, 48. The smallest shared number is 24. Thus, the number 24 is the “Least Common Multiple” or simply LCM.


What is the LCM of 18 and 24?

LCM of 18 and 24 is 72. By listing the multiples, for 18 they are 18, 36, 54, 72, 90, and for 24 they are 24, 48, 72, 96. The first common number is 72. Hence, 72 is referred to as the “Least Common Multiple” or LCM.


What is the LCM of 2 and 12?

LCM of 2 and 12 is 12. Observed in two-sided multiplications given numbers, the number 1 & 2 is 12, 24, 36 48. 12. The most commonly used multiples or the lowest number. 12. It has been called “Least Common Multiples” or ” Lower Common Multiples ” or LCM.


The concept of the Least Common Multiple (LCM) brings harmony to the world of numbers by finding the smallest or lowest least common multiple used, or smallest or lowest common multiple used, among them. We have explored the definition of the LCM, learned the listing the least common multiples and method to find it, and solved examples to deepen our understanding. Additionally, we addressed some frequently asked questions to clear any lingering doubts. Now that you have unlocked the power of the LCM, embrace its magic and use it to solve a wide range of mathematical puzzles and problems. Let the harmony of numbers guide your journey!

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