What is the greatest common factor, and how is the distributive property used to factor it out from a polynomial
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Factors are the building blocks of multiplication. They are the numbers that you can multiply together to produce another number: 2 and 10 are factors of 20, as are 4 and 5 and 1 and 20. To factor a number is to rewrite it as a product. 20 = 4 • 5.
Likewise to factor a polynomial, you rewrite it as a product. Just as any integer can be written as the product of factors, so too can any monomial or polynomial be expressed as a product of factors. Factoring is very helpful in simplifying and solving equations using polynomials.