40 3. WHOLE NUMBERS: OPERATIONS AND PROPERTIES (3) Associative Property Let a, b, and c be any whole numbers. Then a(bc) = (ab)c. (4) Identity Property The number 1 is the unique whole number such that for every whole number a, a · 1 = a = 1 · a. 1 is called the multiplicative identity or the identity for multiplication. (5) Distributive Property of Multiplication over Addition Let a, b, and c be any whole numbers. Then a(b + c) = ab + ac. The 3 is distributed to the 2 and the 4. Note. This property relates the operations of addition and multiplication.