Succeed with maths – Part 1
Succeed with maths – Part 1

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Succeed with maths – Part 1

2.1 Determining if a value is positive or negative

It may not be immediately obvious whether a number you are dealing with is positive or negative from the description given. You may need to use clues in the descriptions or even try visualising the value to help. Use these techniques in the next activity and see how you get on with this.

Activity 3 Positive or negative?

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Tick the values described below that are negative.


3 degrees below zero


52 m below sea level


£1000 net gain


£500 withdrawal from a cashpoint


£1000 deposit in savings account


3 kg weight loss


2 kg weight gain


80 m above sea level


37 above zero


£2000 net loss

The correct answers are a, b, d, f and j.

Now that you have looked at some examples of negative numbers and learned how to represent them on a number line, you’ll move on to using negative numbers in calculations. Again, you’ll make use of your old friend the number line to help.

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