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

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

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's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

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

The answer will then receive the sign of the larger number.

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

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