The Basic Components of a Division Equation
The Dividend – In every division process, there is always the “whole." In a division equation, this is called the dividend and is always the first number in the order of appearance in a division equation.
Example: The librarian is about to donate 175 books to five charitable institutions, how many books will each institute receive if the books are to be distributed equally?
The dividend in this word problem is 175 being the number that represents the entire batch of books to be donated. Hence, you now have the first number of the division equation for this word problem.
The Divisor – In order to divide the whole, you will need a divisor or the number that tells into how many portions the whole will be divided. This is the second number appearing in a division equation and it’s called the divisor.
Using the same word problem above, we can easily identify that the divisor is five, as it denotes the number of recipient organizations. The word problem can be translated into a mathematical sentence using this equation: 175 ÷ 5 =_?_
The Quotient – This is the resulting number after dividing the whole into several parts. In a division equation, quotient is the answer derived after dividing the dividend by the divisor.
To continue with our sample word problem, all we need to do to find the quotient of the division word problem, is to divide the dividend by the divisor. This solution is mathematically expressed as: 175 ÷ 5 = 35. The number 35 is the quotient, being the answer to the mathematical equation.
However, the answer to the word problem should be aptly stated as: "The five charitable institutions are to each receive 35 books" as answer to the question "How many books will each institute receive if the books are to be distributed equally?"