# Q: What are the factor combinations of the number 542,159?

A:
Positive:   1 x 54215931 x 17489
Negative: -1 x -542159-31 x -17489

## How do I find the factor combinations of the number 542,159?

Unfortunately, there's not simple formula to identifying all of the factors of a number and it can be a tedious process when trying to identify the divisors of larger numbers. To find the factor combinations of the number 542,159, it is easier to work with a table - it's called factoring from the outside in.

### Outside in Factoring

We start by creating a table and writing 1 on the left side and then the number we're trying to find the factors for on the right side in a table. Then, below that, write the numbers as a negative as well.

 1 542,159 -1 -542,159

#### Why are the negative numbers included?

When you multiply two negative numbers together, you get a positive number. That means both the positive and negative numbers are factors of 542,159.

Example:
1 x 542,159 = 542,159
and
-1 x -542,159 = 542,159

With that explanation out of the way, let's continue. Next, we take the number 542,159 and divide it by 2:

542,159 ÷ 2 = 271,079.5

If the quotient is a whole number, then 2 and 271,079.5 are factors. In this case, the quotient is not a whole number. Don't write anything down and try the next divisor.

Here is what our table should look like at this step:

 1 542,159 -1 -542,159

Now, we try dividing 542,159 by 3:

542,159 ÷ 3 = 180,719.6667

If the quotient is a whole number, then 3 and 180,719.6667 are factors. In this case, the quotient is not a whole number. Don't write anything down and try the next divisor.

Here is what our table should look like at this step:

 1 542,159 -1 -542,159

Let's try dividing by 4:

542,159 ÷ 4 = 135,539.75

If the quotient is a whole number, then 4 and 135,539.75 are factors. In this case, the quotient is not a whole number. Don't write anything down and try the next divisor.

Here is what our table should look like at this step:

 1 542,159 -1 542,159
Keep dividing by the next highest number until you cannot divide anymore.

If you did it right, you will end up with this table:

 1 31 17,489 542,159 -1 -31 -17,489 -542,159

### More Examples

Here are some more numbers to try:

Try the factor calculator

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