Tackling negative numbers

Pre-Algebra Tutorial

Tackling negative numbers

Intro

A positive number multiplied by a negative number equals a negative number. A negative number multiplied by a negative number equals a positive number, so what’s a positive number multiplied by a negative number that’s then multiplied by another negative number? A positive number! Negative numbers could be pesky little things. But if you remember that two negatives make a positive and a negative multiplied by a positive number equals a negative number, you’ll be able to tackle any math problem with negative numbers.

Sample Problem

Multiply: 2(-2)(−5)

Solution

Multiply: 2(-2)(-5)
First multiply two numbers, could be any two numbers. I chose 2 and -2 which equals -4 because a positive number multiplied by a negative number equals a negative number.

-4(-5)
Then multiply the remaining numbers, which are two negative numbers. A negative number multiplied by a negative number equals a positive number, so the answer equals 20.
20



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