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Working with positive and negative numbers

Are you frustrated with negative numbers? Many students get confused when they are solving expressions with negative numbers. Keep reading below to find some helpful tips. Don't let negative numbers get the best of you!

When adding and subtracting with negative numbers:

1) If both numbers are negative, add the two; the result will be negative.

Example: -5 + (-3) Just add 5 + 3 which = 8
Because both numbers are negative, the result is negative.
Therefore, -5+(-3)= -8

2) If one number is negative and one is positive, subtract the two; the result takes the sign of the larger number.

Example: -7 + 2 The 7 is negative and the 2 is positive;
Start by subtracting the two numbers 7 - 2 which = 5.
In the original problem (-7 + 2), the 7 is the larger number and it is negative, so the result is negative as well.
Therefore, -7 + 2 = -5

When multiplying or dividing with negative numbers:

1) If both numbers are negative, multiply or divide; the result will be positive.

Example: (-5)*(-3) = 15 Both numbers are negative, so the result is positive.

Example: -12 / -3 = 4

2) If one number is negative and one is positive, multiply or divide; the result will be a negative number.

Example: (-6)*7 = -42

Example: 54 /-9 = -6