Main content

## 6th grade

### Course: 6th grade > Unit 5

Lesson 7: Comparing absolute values- Comparing absolute values on the number line
- Compare and order absolute values
- Placing absolute values on the number line
- Comparing absolute values
- Testing solutions to absolute value inequalities
- Comparing absolute values challenge
- Interpreting absolute value
- Interpreting absolute value
- Negative numbers FAQ

© 2023 Khan AcademyTerms of usePrivacy PolicyCookie Notice

# Interpreting absolute value

Given that Jenna's weight changed -3 lbs, Sarah's changed 2.5 lbs, and Bill's changed 4 lbs, who lost the most weight? Who had the largest change in weight?

## Want to join the conversation?

- I don't know why I am doing this(34 votes)
- Energy points :)(11 votes)

- Can someone explain what Absolute value really means?(7 votes)
- the distance that number(or whatever) is from 0

basically the positive form of what is inside the absolute value(10 votes)

- what does absolute value really mean?(7 votes)
- uhh basically , it's the distance of a number from 0. for example , the absolute value of 6 from 0 is 6. and also the absolute value will always be a positive.(7 votes)

- Wow, he had a slight chuckle there. At0:45o-o(9 votes)
- Hi confused, nice to meet you.(10 votes)

- is -6 bigger or smaller than -3 . I keep getting confused with negative numbers(3 votes)
- -6 is absolutely smaller than than -3. As you can see from the number line, the more it moves to the left, the more it gets smaller. And the more it moves to the right, the more it gets bigger :)(9 votes)

- Bill nye the science guy(4 votes)
- I was doing a problem and it said that -10 was more than -3. Is that true, or is the problem wrong?(3 votes)
- It probably was |-10| and |-3|, meaning that |-10| is greater(4 votes)

- I had it right okay I like this(4 votes)
- i guess i understand all of this kind of(4 votes)

## Video transcript

- [Voiceover] So we have three
folks: Jenna,Sarah and Bill and they're keeping track of their weight. And in particular they're
keeping track of their weight over a month. And right over here we
have their weight change over the month. So if you take their ending weight and from that you subtract
their starting weight. So, let me just write that,
that's your end weight minus your starting weight. That's going to be your change
in weight over that month. And so we have the change in weights here. So, Jenna's change in weight is negative three pounds which means that she lost weight. Sarah's change in weight
is positive 2 1/2 pounds which means she gained 2 1/2 pounds. And then Bill's change in
weight is positive four pounds which means he gained four
pounds over the month. So, given that, let's
answer some questions. Who lost the most weight? Who had the largest change in weight? And who had the smallest change in weight? And I encourage you to pause the video and try to work through it on your own. Well let's just plot all of these on a number line here to
help us think through it, although some of you might
already have an answer here. So Jenna's weight change
is negative three pounds. So that's Jenna right over there. I'll say J for Jenna. Sarah's weight change,
and she had a weight gain is 2 1/2 pounds so
that's right over there. Positive 2 1/2 pounds for Sarah. And then finally Bill gained four pounds so that is Bill right over there. Now let's answer the
question, who lost the most? So when we talk about lost,
where we care about directions, we said hey, who moved most to the left of zero? Well Sarah and Bill didn't move
to the left of zero at all. They gained weight. That's why they're to the right of zero. Jenna's the only person who lost anything. So the person who lost the most is Jenna. Now who had the largest change? And if we think about the largest change, one way to think about it is, who is the furthest away from zero? So one way to think about it is, which of these is the
largest absolute value? Well the absolute value
here, the absolute value of negative three is,
and we can just call this the absolute change, is just going to be the absolute value. The absolute value of negative
three is positive three. Absolute value of 2.5 is 2.5. Let me make this a little bit clearer. Absolutue value of four
is just equal to four. So who had the largest absolute change? Well Bill had the largest absolute change and then second place was actually Jenna. She lost weight, but she
had a pretty big change. She had a three pound change although it was a three pound loss. Bill's was a four pound gain. But the largest change is definitely Bill. Now who had the least change? Well another way to think about it, this is the least absolute change. Who changed the least from zero? Well if you look at here, Sarah had the smallest absolute change. Jenna lost weight so the
weight change of Jenna, she has negative three
vs. Sarah's positive 2.5. But if we talk about who had
the least change from zero. If your weight change was zero, that means you didn't gain or lose weight from the beginning of the
month to the end of the month. So who had the least change? Well that's the least absolute change? Well, we see that right over here. 2.5 is less than three or four. So the least change is Sarah. And we're done.