Copyright

Finding the Absolute Value of a Rational Number Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is a Linear Equation?

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Rational Numbers
  • 0:40 Absolute Value
  • 1:19 Distance from 0
  • 1:48 A More Complex Problem
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson and you will learn how to deal with absolute values of simple numbers and more complex problems. Learn the order in which you should do calculations so that your answers are correct.

Rational Numbers

In this video lesson, we will talk about rational numbers. These are the numbers that can be written as the fraction of two integers. Recall that integers are your whole numbers and they can either be positive or negative. Integers are not decimal numbers. But rational numbers can be decimal numbers, since 3/2 equals 1.5.

Think of rational numbers as taking a number of people and sharing a number of things, such as donuts or burgers, with them equally. Both numbers have to be integers. We end up dividing what we are sharing with the number of people. For example, 3/2 can be 2 people sharing 3 burgers. Each person would get 1.5 burgers.

Absolute Value

What we are going to do to these rational numbers is to take their absolute value, or the distance the number is away from 0. In math, the symbol for absolute value is two pipes, or straight lines, one on either side of our number. So, the absolute value of 2 is written like this: |2|. The absolute value of 3/2 is written like this: |3/2|. I've given you the technical definition of absolute value. In problems, it is much easier to remember your absolute value as simply the positive version of your number. For example, the absolute value of -2 is 2. The absolute value of -3/2 is 3/2.

Distance from 0

Yes, basically, what the absolute value symbol does is just delete your negative symbol. |-11| becomes 11. |-5/6| becomes 5/6. Looking at the number line, the absolute value is the distance away from 0. We can see that -5/6 is 5/6 away from 0. -3/2 is 3/2 away from 0. Distance is always positive, so absolute value is also always positive.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support