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# Does a negative number minus a positive number equal a positive?

Wiki User

2008-11-15 23:53:47

The simple answer to the question is no, under no circumstances. To work out the right answer for different combinations of signs, read on. When two signs are different, take the smaller number from the bigger number and keep the sign of the bigger number.

Let's work out some examples...

* minus one (-1) and (plus) another minus one, is minus two (-2) * minus one (-1) minus (take away) one, is also minus two (-2)

So if you take away any positive number from a negative number, the result gets more and more negative as the value of the second number increases. Now let's try adding a positive number to a negative number...

* minus two (-2) plus one (+1) = minus one (-1) * minus two (-2) plus two (+2) = zero (0) * minus two (-2) plus three (+3) = one (1)

So adding a positive number to a minus number only equals a positive number when the value of the positive number is greater than the negative number.

Wiki User

2008-11-15 23:53:47
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