﻿ Division of Negative Numbers

Division of Negative Numbers

Remember from basic math that to prove a division problem you multiplied the answer by the divisor and if the answer equaled the number being divided you had done the problem correctly.

example   16 ÷ 2 = 8     proof 8 x 2 = 16 hence you have the correct answer.  We will use this concept to explain division of negative numbers.

- 12 ÷ 3 = -4  A positive 3 x (-4) = a negative number in this case -12.  In other words the sign of the answer times the sign of the divisor must give you the sign of the number being divided.

Lets try some problems:   1.   12 ÷ (-3) = -4    The answer (-4) multiplied by the divisor (-3) gives us the sign of the number being divided.  2.  -12 ÷ (-3) = 4

If you learn the rules for multiplying negative numbers then you will not have to learn the following rules for dividing negative numbers.

Rules for dividing negative numbers:  1. A negative number divide by a positive number must have an answer that is negative.  2. A positive number divide by a negative number must have an answer that is negative.  3. A negative number divide by a negative number must have an answer that is positive. 4. A positive number divided by a positive number must give an answer that is positive.

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