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# When ordering numbers from smallest to largest will negatives come before or after the positive numbers?

3 years ago

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1 Reply

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D

Destiny Kirlin

1 Answer

H

Harry G

The easiest way to think about ordering numbers in ascending order is to think about the number line, or alternatively about the y and x axis on a standard two dimensional graph. Negative numbers are to the left or below positive numbers. As the absolute value of negative or positive numbers increases, the graph plots these values further left or right respectively.

Negative numbers are always less than positive numbers (and zero) and therefore, always to the left of positive numbers when numbers are placed in ascending order.

**Example Question**. Order the following numbers in ascending order: -29, 35, 16, -8, 89, -4, 0, 56

**Step 1**: Identify the negative numbers. Here they are -4, -8 and -29.

**Step 2**: Identify the positive numbers. Here they are 35, 16, 89 and 56.

**Step 3**: Identify whether 0 is present in the list.

**Step 4**: Order the negative numbers in ascending order (the larger the absolute value of the negative number, the smaller it is). This would give us: -29, -8, -4

**Step 5**: Order the positive numbers in ascending order (the larger the absolute value of the positive number, the larger it is). This would give us: 16, 35, 56, 89.

**Step 6**: Construct the list of numbers in ascending order, with negative numbers first, then 0, then the positive numbers. This would give us: -4, -8, -29, 0, 16, 35, 56, 89.

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