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## Arithmetic

### Course: Arithmetic>Unit 18

Lesson 8: Subtracting negative numbers fluently

# Subtracting a negative = adding a positive

Find out why subtracting a negative number is the same as adding the absolute value of that number. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• I learned this trick and I think it will help you guys:
(Example)
-7 + 8 = 1
You see -7 plus 8 = 1. Even though it says plus, in this case, we can
subtract and keep the sign of the larger number. 8 is the larger number so we keep the sign of the larger number (positive) and we subtract 7 - 8 = 1. The answer is 1.
• I really forgot how to subtract negative numbers. Can someone tell me how so I can remember. Thnx!
• Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Steve’s uncle for being so kind and caring to his nephew?
• How is adding a negative equivalent to a negative? How is it possible?
• Well, it depends on what the negative number is. For example, in 5+(-7), since the number 7 is greater than 5, you take away more than you have, so you then have a negative amount. 5+(-7) basically equals 5-7, which equals -2.

For example:

If you have \$5 in your bank account and you spend \$7, you have \$0, but you also owe \$2
• Let us all remember Steve's uncle for being so loving.
• I like peanut butter
• No like sweden (ikeas) meatballs or hamborger
(1 vote)
• Also,my teacher showed me a word problem for a warm up and it said that someone had -3 dollars. How can you have minus three dollars in cash?
• Think of this situation.
You have \$5 dollars, but you want to buy something from your friend for \$8 dollars.

5 - 8 = -3

You now owe your friend \$3 before you start making any money for yourself.
You are now at -\$3 dollars. You get \$20 for your birthday. How much money do you have now? You have \$17 because you have to pay your friend back the \$3 dollars you owe them.

-3+20 = 17

Great question and hope this helps <|:)
• can u explain it better for me please
• The two negatives cancel each other out, because negative negative would just be another positive.
On the other hand, a positive and a negative would equal a negative as the two signs aren't the same.
Ex.
2-2=2+(-2)
but
2-(-2)=4, not 0.
To help, think of it like -(- just being a disassembled +
They even look similar!
+ -(-
• Steve looks so evil he looks like he is going to kill me bro
• This example is totally understandable and clear. But if a negative number can also be minused from a positive number and that makes sense, then an example for that could also be added in the video to help further clear doubts.

If someone reads it, please give me a real life example of:

\$2000 - (-\$500)