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o LCM of two numbers (56, 96) o LCM of three numbers: (12,15,20) o LCM of prime numbers o LCM of co-prime numbers 4. What is HCF or GCD? o HCF finding: Prime Factorization o HCF of two numbers (4, 6) o HCF of three numbers (12,24,36) o HCF of prime numbers (13,29) o HCF of co-prime numbers (12,25) o HCF vs LCM: #1 multiplication o HCF vs LCM: #2 Magnitude o HCF vs LCM: of fractions 5. for more practice on LCM, HCF

Introduction

1. Concept of LCM, HCF important for number theory and remainder based problems (generally asked in SSC CGL, CAT.) 2. LCM is important for time and speed, time and work problems. 3. LCM is also important for circular racetracks, bells, blinking lights, etc. 4. HCF is important for largest size of tiles, largest size of tape to measure a land etc. But before getting into LCM, HCF, let’s understand

**What is Prime number?
**

Consider this number : 12. This number can be found in many multiplication tables for example 1 x 12=12. 2 x 6 =12 3 x 4=12 That means, 12 has many factors (1,2,3,4,6,12). Such number is called a composite number. On the other hand, consider this number: 29. You cannot find it in any table except 29 x 1 =29. Such number is called a prime number. Let’s make a shortlist from exam point of view

Prime Non-prime (composite) 2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29 4,6,8,9,10,12,14,15…. Now hold this prime number thought in your mind for a while.

What is LCM?

2. let’s create multiplication tables of 4 and 6. 4. Two bells ring at an interval of 4 and 6 minutes respectively. but I’ll cover that in a separate article.First. How to apply LCM in time-speed-distance/work. pipes-cistern etc questions. They’ll meet again on the starting point after 12 minutes. (Mrunal. LCM of time = LCM (4. In the exam. Tarak Mehta takes 4 minutes to finish it and Jethalal takes 6 minutes to finish it. After how many minutes will they ring together? Ans LCM (4. 24 and 36 are common multiples of 4 and 6. Let’s isolate them.org/aptitude) How to find LCM using Prime-Factorization? Suppose in the exam. we need to find LCM of 4 and 6. Suppose there is a circular race track. 4′s table multiple 6′s table multiple 4x1= 4 6x1= 6 4x2= 8 6 x 2 = 12 4 x 3 = 12 6 x 3 = 18 4 x 4 = 16 6 x 4 = 24 4 x 5 = 20 6 x 5 = 30 4 x 6 = 24 6 x 6 = 36 4 x 7 = 28 6 x 7 = 42 4 x 8 = 32 6 x 8 = 48 4 x 9 = 36 6 x 9 = 54 Do you see any common numbers in the multiples of 4 and 6? Yes I see 12. So how to quickly find LCM of two or three numbers? There are many tricks. 5. We’ll learn that in a bit. Now both of them start running from the same point at the same time in the same direction. is already covered in old articles.6) 3. Make a table like this . But what is the smallest of these multiples? Ans 12 is smallest. They’ll continue running on this track forever. So after how many minutes will they meet for the first time on the starting point? Ans. HCF is also important for remainder related questions. 4 x 3 = 12 6 x 2 = 12 4 x 6 = 24 6 x 4 = 24 4 x 9 = 36 6 x 6 = 36 Ok so 12.60). the easiest one is prime-factorization. 24 and 36 are common in both tables. but before that: LCM4 EXam 1. Two traffic lights blink at an interval of 40 and 60 seconds respectively. After how many minutes will they link together? Ans LCM (40.6)=12 minutes. we’ve no time to make such ^big tables to find LCM.

Now multiple the numbers given in LCM row Number factors 4 22 6 2x3 LCM 22 x 3 =12 . For example 2 x 2 =22 Number factors 4 22 6 2x3 Now make the third row called “LCM”. Number Factors 4 2x2 6 2x3 Express it in terms of “powers”. 3 As you can see. Number factors 4 22 6 2x3 LCM Now write all prime numbers in this “LCM row” Number factors 4 22 6 2x3 LCM 2.Number Factors 4 6 Now you need to find the prime factors of 4 and 6. maximum power of 2 was 22 (in 4’s row). 3 Write maximum power of each prime number Number factors 4 22 6 2x3 LCM 22.

6)=12. 56 = 8 x 7 = 23 x 7 (. if you start making every calculation on a piece of paper. 96) Numbers Factors 56 96 First recall. in which tables do they come? Well 56 comes in 8’s table and 96 comes in 12’s table. because 8 = 4 x 2 = 2 x 2 x 2) 96 = 12 x 8 = (4×3)x(4×2)=( 22x3) (23)=25x3 (please note you have to do this things in your head. Let’s try a difficult one: 56 and 96. it’ll look like this: Anyways. LCM of two numbers (56.That’s our answer. Number Factors 56 8x7 96 12 x 8 but we need factors in “prime number” format. 12 and 8 are not prime numbers. So let’s Simplify further. LCM (4. If I plot this LCM situation on a Venn Diagram. you’ll run out of time in the exam). Number Factors 56 23 x 7 96 25x3 .

Number Prime factors 12 22 x 3 15 3x5 20 22 x 5 LCM 2. write all prime factors in ascending order.3 and7) in ascending order. Number Factors 56 23 x 7 96 25x3 LCM 2 3 7 Now write maximum powers of each prime number.Now let’s make the LCM row.15. Number Factors 56 23 x 7 96 25x3 LCM 25 3 7 Multiply these numbers Number Factors 56 23 x 7 96 25x3 LCM 25 x3x7=32×21=672 So LCM (56. Write the maximum power of those prime numbers.20) Approach is same.3. Number Prime factors 12 22 x 3 15 3x5 .5 In the last row. Write all prime numbers (2. Make prime factors Number Prime factors 12 22 x 3 15 3x5 20 22 x 5 Make a new row.96)=672 let’s try finding LCM of three numbers. LCM of three numbers: (12.

We just have to multiply them together and we’ll get LCM. You can also look at it in following way: 12 x 5 = 60 15 x 4 = 60 20 x 3 = 60. LCM of prime numbers Find LCM of 7. But they (14 and 15) donot have any common factors. Example . 14 and 15. (e.12 or 1548. Any two consecutive numbers are co-prime numbers.11. But for the sake of conceptual clarity Numbers Factors 7 7x1 11 11 x 1 13 13 x 1 LCM 1x 7 x 11 x 13 =1001 So 1001 is the answer. LCM of co-prime numbers Co prime numbers are those numbers that donot have any common factors.1549). 11. 3. just multiply them and you will get LCM. So 60 is the least common multiple. So they’re called co-prime numbers (when they’re given together).g.20 LCM 22 x 5 22.20)=60.15.13 We already know these are prime numbers. Individually none of them is prime number because 14=2 x 7 and 15 = 3 x 5. In case of co-prime numbers. So they’ll not have any common factors. For example. There is no need to find factors. 5 Now multiple the numbers in last row Number Prime factors 12 22 x 3 15 3x5 20 22 x 5 LCM 22x3x5=60 Therefore LCM (12.

What does ^this mean? . 4 and 6 are common in 2’s table. GCD= Greatest common divisor. 2. 2 and 3. Extremely fast when you’ve to find LCMs of two digit numbers for example 12. as the number grows bigger. And usually in time speed work. Ok so far we know what is LCM and how to find HCF/GCD? What is HCF or GCD? HCF= Highest common factors.15. but let’s not complicate this article any further. pipe-cistern type questions have number in two digits (e.) 1 x 1 =12 x 1 =2 3 x 1 =3 1 x 2 =22 x 2 =4 3 x 2 =6 1 x 3 =32 x 3 =6 3 x 3 =9 1 x 4 = 4 2 x 4 = 8 3 x 4 = 12 1 x 5 = 5 2 x 5 = 10 3 x 5 = 15 1 x 6 = 6 2 x 6 = 12 3 x 6 = 18 1 x 7 = 7 2 x 7 = 14 3 x 7 = 21 1 x 8 = 8 2 x 8 = 16 3 x 8 = 24 1 x 9 = 9 2 x 9 = 18 3 x 9 = 27 Ok. for example LCM (235. 12. Becomes tedious. Let’s stick to this Prime-Factorization method for a while. Disadvantages? 3. 4 and 6 are common in 1’s table.6 2x3 7 7 LCM 2 x 3 x 7 = (6)x7 =42 Advantages of this method? 1. There are other methods to solve those LCMs. 2 or 3) do you see both 4 and 6 reappearing? There are two such tables 1’s table and 2’s table. in which number’s table (1. 1. 15.e. I’ll write the tables of numbers that come before 4 and 6 (i. 512). 96)…so it is very easy to recall in which multiplication tables do they come. Names are different otherwise they’re one and same. Suppose you’ve to find the HCF of (4 and 6).g. 1 x 4=4 2 x 2=4 1 x 6=6 2 x 3=6.96.

Find the length of longest tape that can measure this field. 4 and 6 come in the table of 1. HCF is also important for remainder related questions. What is the biggest measure (cup) that can measure both of them exactly? Ans. In other words. We’ll use the same approach we’ve used in LCM method: prime factorization. HCF (400.6)=2. I get zero remainder. If I divide 4 by 1. In other words. Similarly if I divide 6 by 1. 4 22 62 x 3 Now. HCF 4 EXAM? What is the highest number that’ll divide 4 and 6 evenly. Therefore HCF of (4.6) There is a 4 x 6m rectangular farm. Similarly if I divide 6 by 2. 600). make third row: HCF and write the prime numbers that are common in both numbers. Ans HCF (4. In other words. A teacher has 40 pens and 60 pencils.6) Two drums contain 400 and 600 liters of desi and foreign liquor respectively. I get zero remainder. 2 is the factor of both 4 and 6. Ans HCF (4. If I divide 4 by 2. 4 and 6 have two common factors (1 and 2) but highest of these common factors is 2. HCF of two numbers (4. I get zero remainder. I get zero remainder. Find maximum number of students among whom she can distribute these items evenly. Ans HCF (4. Find the length of largest square tile that can be evenly laid on it. 1 is the factor of both 4 and 6.6) There is a 4x 6cm floor. 4 and 6 come in the table of 2. 6) First make prime factors of given numbers. Similarly. 4 22 6 2x3 HCF 21 . In other words. but I’ll cover that in a separate article. Thus. HCF finding: Prime Factorization In the exam. we can’t make multiplication tables of every number preceding the given numbers! So here is the shortcut technique.

Therefore.24. it’ll look like this: HCF of three numbers (12. 12 22 x 3 24 23 x 3 36 22 x 32 Now make a new row. 12 2 x 2 x 3=22 x 3 24 3 x 2 x 2 x 2=23 x 3 36 3 x 2 x 3 x 2=22 x 32 In the exam you’ve to do this in your ^head. write the prime numbers that are common in all of above. So I’ll further simplify. 12 24 36 22 x 3 23 x 3 22 x 3 2 .36) 12 2 x 6 24 3 x 8 36 6 x 6 But I want them in prime format. HCF (4.6)=2 If I’ve to plot the HCF of 4 and 6 on a Venn diagram.

But this is not always true for three numbers.457) donot have common factors either. You’ll get HCF=1 and LCM=60. Left hand side (LCM x HCF) Right hand side (multiplication of given numbers) .29) Prime numbers donot have any common factors. HCF =1.25) Again same: 1. because co prime numbers donot have common factors. Left hand side (LCM x HCF) 12 x 2 =24 Right hand side (multiplication of given numbers) 4x6 =24 So both sides match. Therefore HCF = 22 x 3=12. in all such cases. But this relation only work for TWO numbers and not for more than two numbers.6)=2. For example. in case of two numbers (a and b) LCM X HCF = a x b. Find LCM and HCF of 12. Therefore. HCF of prime numbers (13. let me rewrite and do it again 12 22 x 3 24 22 x 2 x 3 36 22 x 3 x 3 HCF 22x3 The numbers highlighted in bold are common. HCF vs LCM: #1 multiplication If we’ve two numbers a and b. But for the clarity let’s do it 13 13 x 1 29 29 x 1 HCF 1 (because 1 is common in both) HCF of co-prime numbers (12. Let’s understand this with an example.6)=12 and HCF (4.15. You know that LCM (4. Therefore. So HCF of such numbers is always 1.HCF 22x3 ^in case you’re confused.20. Similarly consecutive numbers (like 456. and their HCF and LCM are given then HCF x LCM = a x b.

for HCF.15. 69 138. 11 8. 1 LCM. HCF vs LCM: #2 Magnitude For any given numbers. 33 693. their LCM is always greater than or equal to the biggest number. Ok this is just the basic overview. so it is equal to the smallest number 15. 97 6693. In the mean time. the HCF of given numbers is always less than or equal to the smallest number. 12 444. 12 1092. For example Numbers HCF 12. 84 420. 3 72. HCF of fractions . 1 91. try finding LCM and HCFs of following numbers Question Answer (LCM. 57 3705. 1 65.30 LCM 60 so greater than biggest number (20) 30. 1 74. For example Numbers 12. 2 5. 2 44.30 15. In the next article. 41 3731. we’ll see the application of these concepts.60 x 1 =60 12 x 15 x 20 =3600 In this case.15. HCF) 91. 23 69. 55 220.20 1 so it is smaller than smallest number 12 15. 58 2088. both sides donot match.20 15. which is equal to the biggest number (30). 28. Similarly. 1 46. 1 63. 175 1400.

Just observe the color pattern in following image: .

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