Negative Numbers

We're not huge fans of negative numbers ourselves (they're literally called NEGATIVE numbers 😓), but they're all over the SAT, so we must master them.

Common Questions

Are negative numbers even or odd?

They can be both! Just like positive numbers, any negative number divisible by 2 is even, and any odd number not divisible by 2 is odd.

Common Questions

They can be both! Just like positive numbers, any negative number divisible by 2 is even, and any odd number not divisible by 2 is odd.

Let's start with adding & subtracting with negative numbers. When you have something like

13=?-1-3 = ?

Just imagine you're on a number line starting at -1

If we're subtracting, no matter where we start, we're going to move LEFT. Try dragging the 😬 three places to the left.

-4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

😬

Hmm, not quite...remember, we start at -1 and then we move 3 numbers to the left. Try again!

Nice job! Now, if we move to the left for subtraction, which direction do we move in for addition?

Hmm, not quite...remember, we started at -1 and we want to move 4 spaces to the right. Try again!

Not quite...remember, -2 + (-1) turns into -2 -1. Then, we're starting at -2, and because we're subtracting, we'll move 1 place to the left.

Nice work! So remember,

Tip #1

When adding, if you see a negative sign and a positive one next to each other like 1+(3)1 + (-3), the negative sign is stronger, so you're left with just the negative: 131 -3.

Not quite...remember, 1 - (-2) turns into 1+2. Then, we're starting at 1, and because we're adding, we'll move 2 place to the right.

Nice work! So remember this tip:

Tip #2

When adding, if you see two negative signs next to each other like 1(3)1 - (-3) the negatives cancel out to become positive, so you have 1+31 + 3.


Okay, let's look at multiplication and division.

Remember those tips we had before? When we have a negative sign and a positive sign, the negative sign always wins. But if we have TWO negative signs, they cancel each other out.

Well, it's similar in multiplication! A negative times a positive is always a negative:

1×2=2-1\times 2 = -2

But a negative times a negative is always positive:

1×2=2-1\times -2 = 2

Final review - what do you get when you multiply a negative number and a positive number together?

Right! What about when you multiply two negative numbers together? What do you get?

Nice job! What about when you add a negative and a positive number?

Not quite...remember what we did above on the number line? Scroll up for a reminder

Right! What happens if you subtract a negative number like 1(2)=?1-(-2) = ?

Great work! Okay enough from us now - what do you want to do now?