Multiplying and dividing positive and negative numbers

The rule for multiplying and dividing is very similar to the rule for adding and subtracting.

  • When the signs are different the answer is negative.
  • When the signs are the same the answer is positive.
Multiplying or dividing a positive and negative number, produces a negative result. Multiplying or dividing a positive and positive, or negative and negative number, produces a positive result
Question

Calculate:

a) \(5 \times -4\)

b) \(-40 \div -8\)

a) We have \({+5}\) and \({-4}\). The signs are different, so the answer will be negative. So, \(+5 \times -4 = -20\)

b) We have \({-40}\) and \({-8}\). The signs are the same, so the answer will be positive. So, \(-40 \div -8 = 5\)

Question

Work out \(-4 \times 3\).

\[-4 \times 3 = -12\]

Question

Work out \(12 \div (-4)\).

\[12 \div (-4) = -3\]

Question

Work out \((-5) \times (-6)\).

\[(-5) \times (-6) = 30\]