Absolute Values

by francesca
(missouri)

What is true about the absolute value of a number and the absolute value of its opposite?

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Sep 07, 2011
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Absolute Values
by: Karin

The absolute value of a number is it's distance from zero on a number line. Therefore, the absolute value of a number is always positive.

The absolute value of a number and the absolute value of it's opposite are always the same.

For example, the absolute value of 5 is 5, written as: |5| = 5

The absolute value of -5 is also 5, written as:
|-5| = 5

Why are they the same? The number 5 is 5 units away from 0 on the number line. -5 is also 5 units away from zero on the number line. It doesn't matter what direction on the number line, so the absolute value is always positive.

I hope this helps,
Karin

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