How To Cheat Sheet for Positive and Negative Numbers

Here is your cheat sheet to help you remember what to do with positive and negative numbers (integers) with adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. You should have an overview of integer basics.

 Here’s How:

Adding Rules:

Positive (Increase) + Positive (Increase) = Positive (Increase): 5 + 4 = 9
Negative (Decrease) + Negative (Decrease)= Negative (Decrease): (- 7) + (- 2) = – 9

Sum of a negative and a positive number: Use the sign of the larger number and subtract

(- 7) + 4 = -3
6 + (-9) = – 3
(- 3) + 7 = 4
5 + ( -3) = 2

Subtracting Rules:

Negative – Positive = Negative: (- 5) – 3 = -5 + (-3) = -8
Positive – Negative = Positive + Positive = Positive: 5 – (-3) = 5 + 3 = 8
Negative – Negative = Negative + Positive = Use the sign of the larger number and subtract (Change double negatives to a positive)
(-5) – (-3) = ( -5) + 3 = -2
(-3) – ( -5) = (-3) + 5 = 2

Multiplying Rules:

Positive x Positive = Positive: 3 x 2 = 6
Negative x Negative = Positive: (-2) x (-8) = 16
Negative x Positive = Negative: (-3) x 4 = -12
Positive x Negative = Negative: 3 x (-4) = -12

Dividing Rules:

Positive ÷ Positive = Positive: 12 ÷ 3 = 4
Negative ÷ Negative = Positive: (-12) ÷ (-3) = 4
Negative ÷ Positive = Negative: (-12) ÷ 3 = -4
Positive ÷ Negative = Negative: 12 ÷ (-3) = -4

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