Advertisement

Before we start sticking a bunch of x's in these things, let's remember what they are.

Look at a few examples:

| 5 | = 5

| 0 | = 0

| -3 | = 3

So...

What do absolute values do to positive numbers?

NOTHING!

What do absolute values do to 0?

NOTHING!

What do absolute values do to negative numbers?

MAKE THEM POSITIVE!

That's it, Baby!  That's as hard as it gets!

Why are the answers to absolute value guys never negative?

Because absolute values are distances!

Check this out:

The real way to look at absolute values is that they are a number's distance from 0 on the number line:

a number line showing that the distance from -3 to 0 is 3 (the same as the absolute value of -3) ... the distance from 0 to 0 is 0 (the same as the absolute value of 0) ... the distance from 0 to 5 is 5 (the same as the value of 5)

 


TRY IT:

Use a number line to show the answers to these

| -2 |   | 4 |

1