Skill 9 of 13
In Progress

Signs & negative numbers

  • A good part-time salary of 2000 € per month keeps your bank balance above zero. That makes you happy; that makes you positive about the future. Let’s call numbers above zero positive.
  • Suddenly you get fired! You still transfer rent for your apartment of 1000 €, although your account is empty. The bank pays it for you; you now owe the bank 1000 €. Your balance is effectively 1000 € less than zero. Let’s call numbers below zero negative.

What does the account display now? Let’s choose a sign to put in front, such as a dash $-$.

$\text{Balance}=\underbrace{2000\,€}_\text{positive}\quad$ and $\quad\text{Balance}= \underbrace{ -1000\,€}_\text{negative}$

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  1. Rules of arithmetic’ (article), Mathcentre, 2006, www.mathcentre.ac.uk/resources/workbooks/mathcentre/rules.pdf