# need advicehow to add a number that is positive to other negative?

pohnpei397 | Certified Educator

So are you asking how you add a positive number to a negative number?   If so, think about a number line.  If you have a negative number, you are to the left of zero.  To add a positive number, you will move to the right.  You will move by the number of spaces that the positive number tells you to.  You will end up with a bigger number than you started with.  It might still be negative, it might be positive, or it might be zero.

For example

• -4 + 3 = -1 -- you get a bigger number (to the right on a number line) but it's less than zero.
• -4 +4 = 0
• -4 + 5 = 1

giorgiana1976 | Student

Forget about the sign, for the beginning and think as the numbers would be both positive. Then subtract the smaller number from the larger.

For instance:

we'll have to add 2 and -4.

We'll pretend that both are positive.

Now, we'll subtract the smaller number from the larger one.

We'll subtract 2 from 4.

4 - 2 = 2

Now, the answer will receive the sign of the larger number. The larger number is 4 (the absolute value of 4) and it has minus sign, so the answer will receive the minus sign.

-4 + 2 = -2