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Maths

Negative numbers

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Recognising negative numbers

You have to be able to use negative (or directed) numbers in many everyday contexts, for example with temperatures, bank balances etc.

cash machine

A temperature of 6 degrees below zero is −6°.

If your bank account is £100 overdrawn, then your balance is −£100.

In your exam, you might be asked to put some numbers in order. You have to remember, for instance, that −10 is less than −5.

negative to positive numbers

Sometimes it helps to see negative numbers on a number line.

Try the question below:

Question

Order the numbers - 5, −2, 3, −9, −2.5, 0.5.

toggle answer

Answer

The lowest number in this list is - 9. The highest number is 3. From lowest to highest, the order is: −9, −5, −2.5, −2, 0.5, 3.

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