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Absolute Value (Mathematics Lesson)

What Is an Absolute Value?

An absolute value, or modulus, of a number is the non-negative value of the number without regard to its sign.

The absolute value of a number is denoted by || either side of the number.

For example, the aboslute value of 2 is denoted below, and is equal to 2:

What Is the Absolute Value of a Positive Number?

The absolute value of a positive number is just that positive number. For example:

What Is the Absolute Value of a Negative Number?

The absolute value of a negative number is the non-negative value of that number. It is that number with the minus sign ( - ) removed. For example:

Visualizing Absolute Values on a Number Line

On a number line, the absolute value of a number is given by its distance from zero.

For example, it can be seen that 3 is 3 away from zero, and so has an absolute value of 3. It can also be seen that -2 is 2 away from 0, and so has an absolute value of 2:

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Note

THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF ZERO

The absolute value of 0 is 0. 0 is neither a positive nor negative number.

As the absolute value of any other number is always positive, the absolute value of any number must be greater or equal to 0.

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