How do I determine when the negative sign will be to the left of the entire fraction or next to the numerator or denominator?

REVIEWING FOR PRE-ALGEBRA

How do I determine when the negative sign will be to the left of the entire fraction or next to the numerator or denominator?

REVIEWING FOR PRE-ALGEBRA

Tutors, sign in to answer this question.

It is quite simple.

Look at the numerator and the denominator.

If exactly one of them is negative, you can move the minus sign to the front of the fraction.

–2 2 2

—– = —— = – —–

5 –5 5

If both are negative, then the minus signs cancel.

–2 2

—– = —–

–5 5

– —— × 3 —— = – —— × —— = – —— = – 1 ——

7 4 7 4 28 28

**or**

– 3/7 × 15/4

1 6 - 3 - 18
18 3

1 —— × (– 3) = —— × —— = ——— = – —— = – 3 ——

5 5 1 5 5 5

**or**

6/5 × (-3/1)

Andy Z. | Economics and Math TutorEconomics and Math Tutor

A fraction with a negative sign in front of it is the same as a fraction with a negative sign in front of the numerator, or a fraction with a negative sign in front of the denominator.

For example:

-(1/2) = (-1)/2 = 1/(-2)

This is true because a negative one can be factored out from any negative number, similar to the way that a positive one can be factored out of any positive number.

For example:

-6 = -2 x 3 OR -6 = -1 x 2 x 3

6 = 2 x 3 OR 6 = 1 x 2 x 3

Already have an account? Log in

By signing up, I agree to Wyzant’s terms of use and privacy policy.

Or

To present the tutors that are the best fit for you, we’ll need your ZIP code.

Your Facebook email address is associated with a Wyzant tutor account. Please use a different email address to create a new student account.

Good news! It looks like you already have an account registered with the email address **you provided**.

It looks like this is your first time here. Welcome!

To present the tutors that are the best fit for you, we’ll need your ZIP code.

Please try again, our system had a problem processing your request.

Pnina L.

The Only Tutor You'll Ever Need, effective/organized/creative/patient.

$12.50 per 15 min

View Profile >

Devin M.

Experienced and Enthusiastic Math Tutor!

$10 per 15 min

View Profile >

Rebecca D.

Experienced and Patient Tutor for Math and Reading

$10.75 per 15 min

View Profile >

## Comments

How do I determine when the negative sign will be to the left of the entire fraction or next to the numerator or denominator?

REVIEWING FOR PRE-ALGEBRA

Clarification: -3/7 * 15/4=-3*15/7.4=Negative 45/28 WHERE THE NEGATIVE SIGN IS NEXT TO THE FRACTION6/5/-1/3=6/5*-3/1=-18/5 WHERE THE NEGATIVE SIGN IS NEXT TO 18....WHY IS THE NEGATIVE SIGN NEXT TO THE FRACTION IN THE FIRST EXAMPLE AND IT IS NEXT TO THE NUMERATOR 18 IN THE SECOND FRACTION...I HAVE BEEN OUT OF SCHOOL A WHILE SO PLEASE FORGIVE IF I AM NOT UNDERSTANDINGTHANK YOUIt's okay. There is no need to apologize :)

Let's try again...

Negative 45/28 is the same as -45/28 which is also the same as 45/-28. Thus, it does not matter where the - sign is (in front, numerator, or denominator). The difference is simply preferences and continuity. Most of the time the negative is put in front of the entire fraction. This is apparently what mathematicians have agreed upon as the "normal" way of writing a negative faction.

THANK YOU SO MUCH...HAVE A GREAT DAY