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Video: Describing Real-World Quantities Using Positive and Negative Numbers

Kathryn Kingham

Complete the following sentence using “positive” and “negative.” Distances below sea level are represented by _ numbers, and distances above sea level are represented by _ numbers.

01:40

Video Transcript

Complete the following sentence using “positive” and “negative.” Distances below sea level are represented by blank numbers and distances above sea level are represented by blank numbers.

So we need to fill in each of these blanks with the word “positive” or the word “negative.” We’re dealing with something that falls above and something that falls below sea level. Above or below? Above sea level will either be represented by positive or negative numbers and then below sea level will either be represented by positive or negative numbers. This is how we would usually write a number line with the zero in the middle and then to the left of the zero, negative numbers and to the right of the zero, positive numbers.

In this scenario, sea level would be represented by a zero. It seems logical then that the below sea level option would be the negative option. That below sea level is something negative; we represent below sea level with negative numbers. And on the flip side of that, we represent above sea level with positive numbers. Positive numbers represent above sea level. Negative numbers represent below sea level.