PREVIOUS LESSON: Multiplying and Dividing Positive and Negative Numbers
Learn about absolute value
Practice finding absolute value
Try a few examples in context
ABSOLUTE VALUE expresses the distance of any number from zero
You can take the absolute value of a positive number, a negative number, or zero.
KEY TERM ABSOLUTE VALUE The distance (also known as magnitude) a number is from zero on the number line; it is always a positive value.
If we start at 4, the distance to 0 on the number line is 4 spaces. Therefore, the ABSOLUTE VALUE of 4 is 4. We use vertical bars to show ABSOLUTE VALUE, so it would be written like this:
|4| = 4
The principle is the same with a negative number. Using a number line, you start with the number and head towards 0, counting the spaces that you use.
This example would be written as |-2| = 2. This would read "the ABSOLUTE VALUE of negative 2 is 2."
BIG IDEA You can determine ABSOLUTE VALUE by using a number line, and counting the distance to zero.
Here are some examples:
|25| = 25
|0| = 0
|-12| = 12
|9/4| = 9/4
|-11.673| = 11.673
BRAINSTORM Why is it that ABSOLUTE VALUE can never be negative?