Math Videos -
add and subtract with
negative numbers



By the time you reach the bottom of this page, you will have learned

  1. How to add and subtract two or more numbers without parenthesis

  2. How to add and subtract two or more numbers with parenthesis

  3. A unique way to do addition or subtraction of positive and negative numbers that will hopefully clear all your doubts on this topic

If you have already watched the short video on the Math videos page, feel free to jump to the next level. If not, you can continue reading (and watching).

Look at the following expressions
20 - 30 = ?    (subtract 30 from 20)
-24 + 15 = ?    (add 15 to negative 24)
-9 - 7 = ?    (subtract 7 from negative 9)

Watch how to solve them here

Even though they look like simple addition or subtraction problems, each one throws up a challenge of its own. And, things can get more tricky with more numbers (as shown here) or numbers with parenthesis around them (as shown here).

There are different ways to solve the problems above but I have seen the number line method works best for most of my students. There is also a fun way to solve them but I will share that only after I explain the number line method.

The idea is, you draw up a number line, start from 0 and go right from current position every time you come across a positive number and you go left each time you see a negative number. Watch the video now.

   Adding two positive or negative numbers


You can use this method to evaluate any expression having both positive and negative numbers. However, when there is a whole bunch of numbers to work with - both positive and negative - there is always a risk of jumping in the opposite direction or landing up at an incorrect number trying to do it quick. Remember, at each step you need to do a calculation to figure out the new position.

Watch more Math videos here

In the next video let me show you another fun way to solve these problems. Some of my students have told me they never use the number line method once they have started using this one.

   Adding three or more positive or negative numbers


So, you just had to set up the 'game' between the two teams and that helped you solve Math problems! Did you like it?

Alright, you feel better but have you ever seen expressions like the ones below?
15 +(-21)    (add negative 21 to 15)
-42 -(-5)    (subtract negative 5 from negative 42)
20 -(+8)    (subtract positive 8 from 20)

In the following video I show you how to work them.

  Adding or subtracting positive or negative numbers with parenthesis


In the video above I mentioned about the rule that opposite signs give you a negative and same signs will make the number positive. In another video on another day I will explain why is it so. By now I hope you have a clear idea on how to add and subtract positive and negative numbers.

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