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Lesson 7: Comparing absolute values

# Comparing absolute values

Comparing absolute values helps us understand the distance between numbers and zero on the number line. The absolute value is always positive or zero, and it represents the magnitude of a number. By comparing absolute values, we can determine which number is further from zero, regardless of its positive or negative sign. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• how do you find absolute value
• The easiest way to remember it is its distance from 0
• I get the concept of absolute value, It couldn't be easier, but what is the practical use of this? why is it a thing?
• If you needed to know how far a point was from another point, without needing to know in which direction (positive or negative), you'd use the absolute value of the distance between those two points.
• But what about comparing an absolute value to an non-absolute number?
What would you do differently?
• An absolute number is never negative. A non absolute number is negative. I hope this helps.
• When would you use this in life? I am not trying to be mean this is a literal question.
• yeah, I don't get how this is useful
• Wait. . . So if in negative numbers, the smaller number is higher and the higher number is lower, what if you were to subtract negative numbers, let’s say, -46 and -21 which one would be on top?
• It depends on the problem, and which value is being added or subtracted from the other. I'd just go in the order you receive the values, unless you have a word problem stating otherwise (e.g. What is -21 removed [or subtracted] from -46? You would write it as -46 - -21).
• The things he explained in this video were different from what I was tested on in practice. Where is the correct video for the things I'm tested on?
• you are tested on things that have something to do with videos in the same lesson,
Sal might not have used that exact same lesson to go off of, so the detail might be slightly different.
• is -20 for example less then -4
• Yes because -20 is more less than 0 compared to -4
• Can I find absolute value on a number line?
• Yes. Absolute value is how much a number's distance is from 0. You can plot a number on the number line, and that count to see how much distance it is from 0.