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Video: Interpreting and Comparing the Absolute Values of Integers in Word Problems

Kathryn Kingham

Adam and Edward are playing a board game. Adam’s token moved 3 squares back, while Edward’s token moved 2 squares forward. By representing the movements of the tokens as integers, which has the greater absolute value?

02:11

Video Transcript

Adam and Edward are playing a board game. Adam’s token moved three squares back, while Edward’s token moved two squares forward. By representing the movements of the tokens as integers, which has the greater absolute value? Our question here is asking us to do two main things. Represent the tokens as integers. And then determine which of those integers has the greatest absolute value. We have Adam who moved three squares backwards. And Edward who moved two squares forward. Here’s what integer representation of Adam’s moves and Edward’s moves would look like.

For Adam, we would represent his token moving three squares backwards as negative three. He’s moved three squares in the left direction. For Edward, we represent his movements by two. He’s moved two in the right direction, positive two. Now we’re working out the absolute value of these movements. The absolute value of negative three is three. The absolute value of two is two. Our question has asked us which has the greater absolute value, so we need to make sure we answer that question as well. At this point, we’re comparing three and two. We know that three is greater than two, so we know that Adam has moved more than Edward. He maybe moved in the wrong direction, but he did move his token more times than Edward did. And that’s our final answer.