Some simple rules for subtracting integers have to do with the negative sign. When two negative integers are subtracted, the result could be either a positive or a negative integer.

If -5 is subtracted from -9, the result is -4: (-9) – (-5) = -9 + 5 = -4. But if -9 is subtracted from -5, the result is 4, a positive integer: (-5) – (-9) = -5 + 9 = 4.

If a positive integer is subtracted from a negative integer, the result is a negative integer: (-9) – (5) = -14.

If a negative integer is subtracted from a positive integer, the result is a positive integer: 9 – (-5) = 9 + 5 = 14. If a positive integer is subtracted from a positive integer, it gives either a positive integer or a negative integer: 9 – 5 = 4 or 5 – 9 = -4.