How to Add & Subtract Negative Numbers
When it comes to adding and subtracting negative numbers, we like to imagine we’re digging and filling to help us keep track of when we need to go up and down the number line ↕️.
The sign or combination of signs a number comes after tells us whether we need to fill up or dig down:
Check out our calculator or continue the lesson to explore how we use our imagination to help us add and subtract negative numbers!
Adding & Subtracting Negative Numbers Calculator
Recap 🧢 How to Add & Subtract Negative Numbers
Step 1. Imagine the first number.
- If the first number is positive, we fill up to the value of the first number.
- If the first number is negative, we dig down to the value of the first number.
Step 2. Imagine the second number.
- If the second number comes after a plus sign, we fill up to the value of the second number.
- If the second number comes after a minus sign, we dig down to the value of the second number.
Step 3. Combine the numbers.
Overlap the piles and/or holes. The top of the final pile lines up with the final answer.
Continue to see how we can visualize adding and subtracting negative numbers in more detail, starting with a single sign in between our numbers.
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