More Lessons for Arithmetic
The absolute value
of a number describes the distance of the number on the
number line from 0. It does not consider which direction from 0 the number
lies. The absolute value of a number is always positive.
The absolute value of 3 is 3 which means that its distance from 0 is 3 units
The absolute value of −3 is also 3 which means that its distance from
0 is 3 units
The symbol for absolute value is two straight lines || (called bars) surrounding
the number or expression for which you wish to indicate absolute value.
|| 6 |
= 6 which means the absolute value of 6 is 6.
| − 6 | = 6 which
means the absolute value of -6 is 6.
|| 3 − 7 | = | −4 | = 4
|| 6 +
3(−5) | = | 6 − 15 | = | −9 | = 9
Have a look at the following videos for more examples on absolute values:
It is important to note that the absolute value bars do NOT work in the
same way as parentheses. Recall that − (−5) = (−1) × (−5) = +5.
However, for the absolute value it is done by removing the absolute bar
and then performing the sign operation.
−| −5 | = −(+5) = (−1) × (+5)
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