Chapter 2

Less than Zero: Working with Negative Numbers

Negative numbers can be a cause of negativity for some students. The rules for working with negative numbers can be a little tricky. In this chapter, you practice applying the Big Four operations to negative numbers. You also strengthen your skills evaluating absolute value.

The Problems You’ll Work On

This chapter shows you how to work with the following types of problems:

Subtracting a smaller number minus a larger number

Adding and subtracting with negative numbers

Multiplying and dividing with negative numbers

Evaluating absolute value

What to Watch Out For

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when you’re working with negative numbers:

To subtract a smaller number minus a larger number, reverse and negate: Reverse by subtracting the larger number minus the smaller one, and then negate by attaching a minus sign (–) in front of the result. For example, 4 – 7 = –3.

To subtract a negative number minus a positive number, ...