# A Guide to the GRE/Positives and Negatives

## Positives & Negatives[edit]

**Subtracting a negative is the same as adding a positive.**

5 - -3 = 5 + 3 = 8

**Adding a negative is the same as subtracting a positive.**

2 + -5 = 2 – 5 = -3

**Multiplying a negative and a positive equals a negative.**

5(-3) = -15

**Multiplying a negative and a negative equals a positive.**

-7(-3) = 7(3) = 21

Thus, multiplying any odd number of negatives together equals a negative, while multiplying any even number of negatives together equals a positive.

### Practice[edit]

1. What is the value of 8(-4)?

2. If -2 - *y* is positive, then is *y* negative or positive?

3. *x*^77 is positive. Is *x* negative or positive?

### Answers to Practice Questions[edit]

1. -32

Multiplying a positive by a negative equals a negative.

2. *y* must be negative (and must be less than -2)

Subtracting a negative is the same as adding a positive. For example, *y* could equal -3. -2 - -3 = -2 + 3 = 1.

3. *x* must be positive.

A negative multiplied by a negative equals a positive (e.g., -1 ✕ -1 = 1), while a positive multiplied by a negative equals a negative (e.g., (-1 ✕ -1) ✕ -1 = 1 ✕ -1 = -1). Therefore, -1(-1)(-1) is negative, while -1(-1)(-1)(-1) is positive. Thus, any time an odd number of negatives are multiplied together, they equal a negative - meaning x must be positive, since 77 *x*s multiplied together are positive.