Dividing positive and negative numbers follows the same rules as multiplying positive and negative numbers. We’ll repost them here for you, using division examples instead of multiplication :
Rule 1: A positive number divided by a positive number gives you a positive number.
Example 1: This is the kind of division you’ve been doing for years, positive numbers divided by positive numbers. It would look like this: 12/3 = 4. 12 is positive, 3 is positive, thus, 4 is positive. We know that 12 and 3 are both positive because there are no negative signs in front of them.
Rule 2: A positive number divided by a negative number gives you a negative number.
Example 2: This is new – for example, you might have 12/-3. The 12 is positive, but the 3 is negative, so our answer has to be negative. Thus, we divide the numbers as we normally would, and then put a negative sign in front of our answer. So, 12/-3 = -4. Please note that this also works when the negative number comes first and the positive number is second. For example, you may see it written -12/3 = -4, but don’t get confused. The combination of one positive and one negative number, no matter which order they come in, means your answer is going to be negative.
Rule 3: A negative number divided by a negative number gives you a positive number.
Example 3: This is also new—and doesn’t seem to make much sense, but it is a rule we have to follow when dividing negative numbers. So, for example, we may have the problem -12/-4. Both the 12 and the 4 are negative, so we know our answer is going to be positive. Therefore, -12/-4 = 3.
Here are a few problems for you to practice working with positive and negative numbers. Do them on your own, and then check them with our answers.
|1. 15/3||2. -24/6||3. 98/-2||4. -75/-25||5. -3/-1|
|6. 88/-11||7. 49/7||8. 100/-50||9. -34/17||10. -9/-3|
|1. 5||2. -4||3. -49||4. 3||5. 3|
|6. -8||7. 7||8. -2||9. -2||10. 3|