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Maths

Negative numbers

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Ordering

Ordering negative numbers

Any number above zero is a positive number. Positive numbers are written with no sign or a '+' sign in front of them and they are counted from zero to the right.

Any number below zero is a negative number. Negative numbers are always written with a '-' sign in front of them and they are counted from zero to the left.

Always look at the sign in front of a number to see if it is positive or negative.

Positive numbers get higher the further we move right, so 5 is more than 2.

Negative numbers get lower the further we move left, so -5 is less than -2.

Question

Which word, 'higher' or 'lower', would fit correctly in each of these gaps?

a) -7 is ............... than -1
b) + 62 is ............... than -71
c) -136 is ............... than -36

Answer

a) -7 is lower than -1
b) + 62 is higher than -71
c) -136 is lower than -36

Challenge

Now test what you've learnt about negative numbers in the activity below.

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Activity

Negative number activity

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