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# if you add a negative and a positive which will it be a positive or negative

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The answer is:  IT DEPENDS.  Which of the two numbers is farther from "0" on the number line?  For example, let's suppose your problem is:

(-6) + (+2) = _____

If you draw a number line, you can see that (-6) is much farther away from 0 than (+2).  Therefore, your answer will be NEGATIVE.  (Specifically, it will be -4 in this case.)

What if we change the problem to:

(+6) + (-2) = _________?

On the number line, you can see that (+6) is farther away from "0" than (-2).  In this case, the answer will be POSITIVE.  (Specifically, it will be +4 in this example.)

Hope that helps!

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Mark V. | Expert Tutor for Spanish, Math, English, Writing, SAT, and ACTExpert Tutor for Spanish, Math, English,...
4.9 4.9 (540 lesson ratings) (540)
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Hello,

Here's another way to look at it:

If you have a series of positive and negative numbers, group all the positives in one column and all the negatives in the other.  Add the totals in each column (regardless of sign).  Take the difference (subtract) between the two totals and apply the sign of the larger number at the end.

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Even more simple You add the common multiples and then times the final answers of the two together.
Flavia H. | Specializing in Elementary-HS Sciences, Math through Algebra, ACT/SATSpecializing in Elementary-HS Sciences, ...
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The answer is: IT DEPENDS. Which of the two numbers is farther from "0" on the number line? For example, let's suppose your problem is:

(-6) + (+2) = _____

If you draw a number line, you can see that (-6) is much farther away from 0 than (+2). Therefore, your answer will be NEGATIVE. (Specifically, it will be -4 in this case.)

What if we change the problem to:

(+6) + (-2) = _________?

On the number line, you can see that (+6) is farther away from "0" than (-2). In this case, the answer will be POSITIVE. (Specifically, it will be +4 in this example.)

Hope that helps!

Teal C. | University Junior Majoring in MathematicsUniversity Junior Majoring in Mathematic...
4.8 4.8 (117 lesson ratings) (117)
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Adding positives and negatives depends on the absolute value of both sides, in other words, the distance from zero. In contrast, multiplication and division depends on the combination of signs. Positive times positive, or negative times negative, will both give you a positive product or quotient. opposite sign, negative answer.