ACT Math : How to subtract negative numbers

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT Math

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Negative Numbers

What is 1 + (–1) – (–3) + 4 ?

Possible Answers:

9

6

3

7

1

Correct answer:

7

Explanation:

You simplify the expression to be 1 – 1 + 3 + 4 = 7

Example Question #1 : Negative Numbers

Solve the following equation for :

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

To begin, we need to recall how to subtract negative numbers. Remember, when subtracting a negative number, the two negatives cancel out, creating a positive.

So, this:

Becomes this:

We can combine like terms on the left to get:

Then, we can subtract  from both sides in order to get  by itself:

In this case, we are subtracting from a negative number, which is just like adding two negative numbers, or subtracting from a positive number. The result will be more negative, because we will be moving further to the left on the number line.

Example Question #1 : How To Subtract Negative Numbers

Compute the following:  

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Convert all the double signs to a single sign before solving. Remember, two minus (negative) signs combine to form a plus (positive) sign, and a plus (positive) sign and a minus (negative) sign combine to form a minus (negative) sign.

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