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Student Question

Grade 6 • 8mo.

Hello, I don't really understand when my teacher refers to relative integers and their operations. Can you shed some light? thank you!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 8mo.

    Hello to you :)

    In mathematics, relative numbers are whole numbers (that is to say without decimals) preceded by a positive or negative sign, like these following : -10, 5, 46, -193, etc.

    Little reminder : if no sign is specified, it implies that the number is positive (positive sign)! 

    Their basic operations are still similar to those of natural numbers, but not quite.

    If we are with a + and + or - and -, we will add the numbers together. For example: 

    20 + + 6 = 26

    20- -6 = 20 + 6 = 26

    If we are with a - and +, we will subtract the numbers together and the sum takes the sign of the largest number in the operation. For example: 

    30 + -50 = 30-50 = -20

    To add two positive relative numbers (+, +), we add the two numbers whose sum always give a positive whole number.

    To add two negative relative numbers, (-, -), we add the two numbers, but this time their sum will give a negative whole number.

    To add relative numbers with different signs (+, -) / (-, +), we proceed with number sense. The sum will be positive or negative depending on the sign of the number that is furthest from 0 on the number line. In other words, the sign of the sum will take the sign of the larger digit or number in the operation.

    Example: You want to add -25 + 5. There are two different signs. Since 25 is greater than 5, the sum will be a negative number and we will subtract 5 from 25. The final answer is -20.

    I hope I’ve helped you! If you still have difficulty, feel free to ask us more questions in the Help Zone! :)