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**PREVIOUS LESSON:** Multiplying and Dividing Positive and Negative Numbers

**Contents**

Overview

Background

Practice

Summary

**OVERVIEW**

Learn about absolute value

Practice finding absolute value

Try a few examples in context

**BACKGROUND**

**ABSOLUTE VALUE** expresses the distance of any number from zero

You can take the absolute value of a **positive numbe**r, 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?