Q:

What are some rules for adding and subtracting integers?

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Quick Answer

When adding integers, some basic rules apply: adding two positive numbers results in a positive answer and adding two negative numbers results in a negative answer. When adding a positive and a negative, students should find the difference between the absolute value of the two numbers and use the sign of the larger number for the answer. For example, 6 + (-8) = -2.

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Full Answer

The rules for subtracting integers are a little more complicated. Subtracting one positive number from another results in a positive answer if the first number is larger than the second and a negative answer if the second number is larger than the first. For example, 5 - 7 = -2. Subtracting a negative from a positive results in a positive number because taking away a negative quantity is the same as adding a positive. For example, 8 - (-3) = 11. Subtracting a positive from a negative results in a larger negative number. For example, -3 - 4 = -7. Subtracting a negative from a negative results in a negative answer if the absolute value of the first number is greater than the absolute value of the second number. For example, -5 -(-4) = -1. If the absolute value of the second number is greater than the absolute value of the first, then subtracting a negative from a negative results in a positive answer. For example, -4 - (-6) = 2.

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