Video: Calculating Numerical Expressions Involving Rational Numbers

Calculate (−6 − 12)/3.

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Video Transcript

Calculate negative six minus 12 divided by three.

We can answer this question in two steps, firstly, by subtracting 12 from negative six and then dividing the answer by three. If we consider a number line where our start point is negative six, then subtracting 12 from this will take us further down the number line. Negative six minus 12 is equal to negative 18. We now need to divide negative 18 by three.

At this stage, we recall our rules for dividing positive and negative numbers. Dividing a positive by a positive or a negative by a negative gives a positive answer. When dividing a positive by a negative or a negative by a positive, we get a negative answer.

In this question, we have a negative number on the numerator and a positive number on the denominator. 18 divided by three is equal to six. Therefore, negative 18 divided by three is negative six.

The calculation negative six minus 12 divided by three is equal to negative six.

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