We use numbers to show how many or how much there is of something:
We use positive numbers to show these things. Up until now we probably haven't said "positive numbers" ; we've just said "numbers".
We show positive numbers with a + sign
+5 means positive five
We usually don't say "positive" even though that is what we mean so...
5 is the same as +5
Negative numbers are less than zero
We need numbers to represent these things too. We use negative numbers.
We show negative numbers with a - sign
-7 means negative seven
Sometimes people say "minus seven" instead of "negative seven" - they both mean the same
Negative numbers let us show values without using lots of words. Negative numbers are useful for calculations.
|Using Words||With Negative Numbers|
|A golfer scored 70 on a par 72 course (two under par)||Her score was -2|
|A man owed $500 to the bank||His balance was
|The quarterback gets sacked and the team loses 15 yards.||The team is -15 yards on the play|
|The temperature changed from 10 degrees above zero during the day to 10 below zero at night||There was a -20 degree change in temperature|
The number line below shows how negative numbers go to the left of zero.