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Negative Numbers

Negative numbers are something a lot of students struggle with - so don't feel bad if you don't understand straight away. After all the idea of having less than nothing does sound like a paradox!

Above is a number line which is a useful tool when considering negative numbers. As you can see -1 and positive 1 are both 1 unit away from 0 but in different directions. A number line is very useful for subtracting and adding because you can visually see how you got from one value to another value.  

To understand how to multiply and divide when positive numbers are involved I like to think of the negative number or value as a debt. If you owe a bank $50 you effectively have -$50. If you owe four banks $50 you have 4 x -$50 which is -$200. 
Always remember:
- A negative x a negative = a positive
- A negative x a positive = a negative
- A positive x a positive = a positive