What Is a Zero Pair?
A zero pair describes a pair of numbers whose sum equals zero. One number in this equation will always have a positive sign, while the other number will always have a negative sign.
A zero pair will always feature the positive and negative form of the same number. For instance, +3 and -3 would be considered a zero pair because the resultant sum when they are added together is zero (+3 + -3 = 0). Conversely, +3 and -2 would not be considered a zero pair because the resultant sum when they are added together would not be zero (+3 + -2 = +1).
The main purpose of a zero pair is to simplify the process of addition and subtraction in complex mathematical equations featuring multiple numbers and variables. For example, in the problem 2+6-3-2, the positive 2 and the negative 2 cancel each other out because they are a zero pair, thus reducing the problem to 6-3.