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Understanding Absolute Value

Introduction

Absolute value of a number is defined as the length or the distance in units of a number from 0 on the number line. Absolute value takes into account only the distance and not the direction. Therefore, the absolute value of a number is always a positive value because only the distance is taken into account. The absolute value of number 'y' is denoted by

Terms

Absolute Value - The distance of a value from 0 on a number line.
Positive - Any value greater than zero.
Negative - Any value less than zero.

Lesson

To understand absolute value, it's best to look at a number line.
The absolute value of 5 (or ) is 5, since the value 5 is 5 units from 0 on the number line.
The absolute value of -3 (or is 3, since the value -3 is 3 units from 0 on the number line.

Examples

Positive Absolute Value

Evaluate

Negative Absolute Value

Evaluate

Opposite Integers

What is the opposite of 5?
Plot on a number line
More Examples

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