How do you know whether to factor out a (-n)?

If i did:

-n(n-5)

but if i did:

n(-n+5)

which one is correct?

The answer of my book says -n(n-5)

Do I always have to make sure that the n is a positive?

How do you know whether to factor out a (-n)?

If i did:

-n(n-5)

but if i did:

n(-n+5)

which one is correct?

The answer of my book says -n(n-5)

Do I always have to make sure that the n is a positive?

Tutors, please sign in to answer this question.

Westford, MA

Both have the same value so are technically correct.

But custom dictates that the factors are presented in a way that makes it easy to mentally calculate the zeros, so -n(n-5) is preferred because it's easier to see that the zeros are 0 and 5.

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