What is the number five units to the left of two on a number line?
Let’s first consider the number line from negative 10 to positive 10. All the positive numbers are to the right of zero and all the negative numbers are to the left. In this question, our start point is two or positive two, as shown by the pink dot. We were asked to work out the number that is five units to the left of two. This takes us to negative three. Therefore, negative three is five units to the left of two.
An alternative method to solve this problem would be to subtract five from two. When we’re moving left, we subtract the number. Two minus five is equal to negative three. This confirms that our answer is correct, that negative three is five units to the left of two.