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# The 4 Step Process for Adding Negative Numbers

Get the free Adding Negative Numbers worksheet and other resources for teaching & understanding how to Add Negative Numbers

## Here’s how to Add Negative Numbers

Adding Negative Numbers is when you add integers that have a negative sign with another integer that can be positive or negative. Negative Numbers are less than zero and, therefor, negative. The way to add negative numbers depends on if you are adding two negative numbers together or if you are adding one negative number with one positive number.
If you are adding two negative numbers together, you will add them just like if you were adding two positive numbers together. That means you will just add them like normal. The only extra step is that you will keep the negative sign. In other words, when adding two negative numbers together, you add them together and keep the sign which is negative.
A negative plus a positive is different if one number is negative and one number is positive. The easiest way to add a negative plus a positive is to find the absolute value of the numbers being added together and then keep the sign of the larger number. The absolute value of a number is the distance of that number from zero. Because the absolute value is distance, it will always be positive since distance cannot be negative. Once you have the absolute value of each number, you will just subtract the smaller number from the larger number. Then you will keep the sign of the larger number.

Common Core Standard: 7.NS.1

## How can you add a Negative plus a Positive?

Are you wondering how to add two negative numbers? Then check out the guide below.

Adding Two Numbers together that are negative is the point at which you add whole numbers that have a negative sign with another whole number that can be negative or positive. When doing a negative plus a positive it depends if you have to add two negative numbers together or one negative number with one positive number.

In the event you are adding two negative numbers together, you will simply add them like normal positive numbers. The only real difference is that you will keep the negative sign since both numbers are negative.

Adding a Negative plus a Positive is when one number is negative and one number is positive involves finding the absolute values of each number. Once you know the absolute values of each number you subtract them. After subtracting, you keep the sign of the larger number.

## 4 Simple Steps for Adding Two Negative Numbers Together

1. If both numbers are negative, you add the number together and keep the negative sign for your answer.
2. If one number is positive and one number is negative you have to first find the absolute value of each number.
3. Once you know the absolute value you will subtract the smaller number from the larger number.
4. You answer will have the same sign of the larger number.

## Adding Negative Numbers Practice Problems Quiz

/5

Click Start to begin the practice quiz!

1 / 5

Simplify.

-1 + (-5)

2 / 5

Simplify.

5 + (-3)

3 / 5

Simplify.

1 + (-8)

4 / 5

Simplify.

-4 + (-2)

5 / 5

Simplify.

3 + (-1)

0%

## Watch the video explanation of our Adding Negative Numbers Worksheet

Watch our free video on How to Add a Negative plus a Positive. This video shows how to solve problems that are on our free Negative Plus a Positive worksheet that you can get by submitting your email above.

Watch the free Negative Plus a Positive video on YouTube here: Negative Plus a Positive Video

Video Transcript:

First of all our first problem on our negative numbers worksheets gives us negatives. Our first problem gives us negative one plus negative five. Now you will notice that both of these numbers are already negative, so the negative 1 and the negative 5 are both negative. Our rule is you will add the two negatives up. So you add the numbers together then because the signs are the same, you keep that sign. This is a negative 1 and this is a negative 5. Our answer will also be negative so all you have to do is add negative 1. We’re going to add our number plus negative 5 so we’re going to add negative 1 and negative 5 together and that’s going to give us 6 and then because they are both negative our answer also has to be negative. So negative 1 plus negative 5 is negative 6.

Jumping down to the second problem on our negative plus a positive worksheet you can see that this time we have a positive 1 plus a negative 8. Now this time this is a positive number which is our 1 and this time 8 is negative, so when they have opposite signs what you have to do is subtract them and then keep the sign of the larger number. In this case our answer has to be negative because 8 is greater than 1 so because 8 is greater than 1, this is negative which means that our answer also has to be negative. Now what we do is we subtract, so we take our problem here we do 8 minus 1 and, this time we’re subtracting because they’re opposite signs, and we get 7. We know our answer has to be 7 but because negative plus positive means the larger number was 8 and this number was negative so 8 was negative that means our answer also has to be negative. When we write this out if you do 1 plus a negative 8 your answer will be a negative 7 because when you subtract those you get 7 and the larger number of the is a negative. Our answer has to be negative seven. This practice problems helps you learn how to answer what is a negative plus a positive.

All right so moving on to number five on the adding positive and negative numbers worksheet. When we’re adding two negatives together the two negative numbers this time, this is negative and this is negative, so that means our answer has to also be negative. They have the same sign so we’re going to do a negative plus negative and keep that sign so all you do is you add them together. Negative eight plus a negative two, you will add eight plus two here so eight plus two that is going to be 10 and then because they are both negative that means the answer also has to be negative. That’s a negative eight, that’s negative two, so you add them together just like all negative plus a negative problems and then you keep the sign. It has to stay negative and our final answer is negative ten.

The last example we’re going to do is number seven. This problem gives us five plus negative three. This time we have a negative plus a positive. So to determine what sign our answer is going to be we have to actually subtract these, and we’re subtracting these because they have different signs. This is a positive and this is a negative and in order to determine positive five plus negative three you have to actually subtract them. We’re going to do five minus three because they have different signs this time. Five minus three gives us two. But determine what the sign of your answer is going to be you have to look at which number was bigger. In the case of our problem we have five plus negative three. Five is obviously larger than three so because five is positive that means our answer also has to be positive. Our final answer is just going to be a positive two. What you do is again five plus negative three you have a positive number here and a negative number here. We already know that you have to subtract when you have different signs, so we do 5 minus 3 and we get 2 and then because this 5 is larger and this 5 is positive. That means our answer has to be positive two.

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