Åk 6–9
3.1 The Minus Sign
Did you know that the minus sign has two different meanings?  Before you begin calculating with negative numbers, it is a good idea that you learn to distinguish between these.
  • Subtraction, in other words, in a calculation operation shows when we are going to subtract two numbers. 
    Exemple: 5 – 3
  • Negative number, in other words, when we are showing that a number is negative.
    Exemple:  -14

It is important that you be able to distinguish between these two meanings, and we will in the future show the calculation with a space before and after, and the negative number without the space.  In other words, just like we have done in the example above.  Sometimes, it happens that calculations are written with a longer minus sign and the negative number’s sign is written with a short minus sign in front.

On many calculators, you can see one button for the calculation and another for the negative and positive number.