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Negative Absolute Value

Date: 6/28/96 at 22:57:17
From: Joan Havey
Subject: Negative Absolute Value

Dear Dr. Math:

My student and I are wondering if  -|8| is -8 or 8  
We have different opinions on the answer.  

          Joan Havey

Date: 6/30/96 at 15:55:46
From: Doctor Paul
Subject: Re: Negative Absolute Value

I say it's -8.  Here's why:

The minus sign acts after the absolute value is taken.  |8| is 8.  
Then put a - sign in front of the 8 and you get -8.  Note that
-|-8| is -8 too.  This is because the abs. value of -8 is 8 and then 
the minus sign goes out front.

-Doctor Paul,  The Math Forum
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Associated Topics:
Middle School Number Sense/About Numbers

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