The Lesson

A number line can be used to add numbers.

Imagine we wanted to add 4 and 3.

How to Add on a Number Line

Adding on a number line is easy.


Use a number line to find 4 + 3.



Find 4 on the number line.
4 + 3


Move 3 to the right along the number line.
4 + 3


Read off the number you have reached.


4 + 3 = 7

Lesson Slides

The slider below shows another real example of how to add on a number line. Open the slider in a new tab

Top Tip

To Add, Go Right

Adding means going right on a number line.


The Order of Adding Doesn't Matter

In our example, we have found 4 + 3.

But the order in which we add the numbers doesn't matter... we can swap the numbers around:
4 + 3 = 3 + 4
This is the commutative property of addition: you can change the order of the numbers around the sign and still get the same answer.