Numbers less than zero are negative numbers. They are represented by putting a “-” in front of a number that represents how much less than zero that number is. For example negative five is -5. Positive numbers (these is the kind of number we use most in our daily lives) normally don’t have anything in front of them, but might have a +.
When you do an operation with a negative, it will sometimes make the result different than if you were doing the operation with two positive numbers. For example, if you multiply a negative number by a positive number, the result will always be negative. The table below explains what the result will be for each operation.
You might encounter two signs in front of a number, for example +(+7) or +(-4). You should simplify these down to one sign. The way to do that is if the signs are the same, make it positive, if different, make it negative.
-(-8) becomes 8 or +8
+(-4) becomes -4
There might be a question on the GED math test that evaluates your understanding of absolute values. Absolute values are numbers between upright lines (||) and are simply the distance from zero of a number. For example the absolute value of seven, which looks like |7|, is seven. The absolute value of |-7| is also seven.
|187| = 187
|-2964| = 2964
The absolute value of zero is zero.