Evaluating Absolute Value

In this lesson we will discuss absolute value and how to apply it mathematically. Absolute value is an operation that changes negative numbers positive and keeps positive numbers positive. In more simple terms absolute value tells students how far away a number is from zero. Below are a list of examples and steps to follow to make the comprehension of this topic easier.

Example 1: |-5| = |5| = 5

As previously stated, the absolute value operation turns negative numbers positive.

Example 2: |6| = |6| = 6

Remember, a positive number stays positive when using the absolute value operation.

Example 3: |7-3| = |4| = 4

In this example perform the operation of subtraction first and then find the absolute value.

Example 4: |8-4| -|5|

First subtract 8-4 while keeping the answer inside the absolute value signs. Bring down the remaining term of the expression.

|4| – |5|

Now we can remove the absolute value signs to complete the last operation. The absolute value signs can be removed once the terms inside become positive.

4 – 5 = -1

Example 5: |-8-2| – |-3|

First perform the operations inside the absolute value signs. Remember to keep the absolute value signs until the very end of the problem.
|-8-2| = |-10|

Bring down the remaining term to complete the problem.

|-10| – |-3|

Now find the absolute value.
|-10| -|-3| = |10| – |3| = 10 – 3 = 7

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