ACT Math : How to divide negative numbers

Example Questions

Example Question #136 : Arithmetic

What is ?

45

Explanation:

A negative number divided by a negative number always results in a positive number.  divided by  equals . Since the answer is positive, the answer cannot be  or any other negative number.

Example Question #137 : Arithmetic

Solve for :

Explanation:

Subtract  from both sides:

, or

Next, subtract  from both sides:

, or

Then, divide both sides by :

Recall that division of a negative by a negative gives you a positive, therefore:

or

Example Question #1 : How To Divide Negative Numbers

Solve the following equation:

Explanation:

The rule for dividing negative numbers is the same as for multiplying negative numbers.

If both numbers are negative, you will get a positive answer.

If either number is positive, and the other is negative, you will get a negative answer.

Therefore:

Example Question #2 : How To Divide Negative Numbers

Choose the answer which best solves the following equation:

Explanation:

To solve, first put the equation in terms of :

First multiply the x to both sides.

Now divide by 12 to solve for x.

Here, because one of the numbers in the equation is positive, and the other is negative, the answer must be a negative number: