Very simple! To get the reciprocal of a number, just divide 1 by the number.

If you think that a number could be written as "number/1" without changing its value, then the reciprocal is just like turning the number upside down:

Number |
Reciprocal |

2 |
= ^{2}_{/1} |
^{1}/_{2} |

8 |
= ^{8}_{/1} |
^{1}/_{8} |

1,000 |
= ^{1,000}_{/1} |
^{1}/_{1,000} |

If may help you to remember that "Reciprocal" comes form the Latin *reciprocus* meaning *returning *or* alternating*. Like going to the shops and and then *returning* home again.

## But Not Zero

Every number has a reciprocal except 0 (1/0 is undefined)

## Multiply a Number by Its Reciprocal and You Get 1

Let us try multiplying a number by its reciprocal:

2 × (^{1}/_{2}) = 2 x 0.5 = **1**

And let us try another:

10 × (^{1}/_{10}) = 10 x 0.1 = **1**

Yes! You always get **1**

In fact that is a way to define Reciprocal:

Reciprocal: what to multiply a value by to get 1

In terms of multiplying it is the Inverse, so it is also called the "**Multiplicative Inverse**".