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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Rayna Cummings*

Rayna has taught Elementary Education for 12 years (in both 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades) and holds a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from The Ohio State University

Did you know that numbers, just like words, have opposites? In this lesson, we are going to look at numbers using a number line and learn how to show opposite numbers using special signs. So let's get learning and find those special opposite numbers!

Quick! What is the opposite of hot? Cold! How about the opposite of slow? Fast! OK. So, as you know, opposite words have different meanings. Well, opposite numbers have different values, but they look very similar. Let's learn more about how to identify opposite numbers.

First, let's review our information about a number line. A **number line** is a horizontal line with numbers that are placed equal distance apart and that are **sequentially numbered**, meaning the numbers increase or decrease by the same amount. For example, your number line could count by 1s, by 5s, or even by 100s.

**Opposite numbers** are numbers that, when placed on a number line, are the exact same distance away from the 0, but on opposite sides, or in opposite directions. They look the same except for their signs. To the left of the 0 on the number line are negative numbers, with a - sign, and to the right of the zero on the number line are positive numbers which although they have a positive, + , sign, this sign is normally not written.

Examples of opposite numbers on our 'Opposite numbers number line' would be -1 and +1, -2 and +2, and so on. Again, opposite number look exactly the same except for their sign, which is based on whether the number is to the left or the right of the 0 on the number line.

Good news! You don't have to draw a number line every time you want to find out what the opposite of one number is. Now that you know that opposite numbers are the same number, one with a positive sign (+) and one with a negative sign (-), you can easily find the opposite of any number.

So, even if I asked you what the opposite of 454,685,184 was, you would immediately say - 454,685,184! Both of these numbers are the exact same distance away from the 0 on the number line, just in opposite directions!

The easiest way to learn about opposite numbers is to build them and see firsthand how these numbers are opposite. Any numbers can be opposite, such as this example, showing the opposite for the fractions 1/4 and 2/5.

As long as one number has a positive (+) sign and the other number has the negative (-) sign, you have opposites.

Opposite numbers can also be decimal numbers. Look at this example:

The opposite of 0.2 is - 0.2 on the number line. Can you name the other opposite decimal numbers shown in the decimal number line picture?

As you just learned from this lesson, **opposite numbers** are special numbers that can be shown on both sides of a number line with different signs, one with a + and one with a -. You have learned different ways to make opposite numbers from the example pictures, using a number line, and with creating opposite numbers of your own.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

{{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? 's' : ''}}

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- What Are Consecutive Numbers? - Definition & Examples 3:22
- Finding the Sum of Consecutive Numbers 4:10
- What is a Cubed Number?
- What is a Deficient Number?
- What Are Figurate Numbers? - Definition & Examples
- What Are Opposite Numbers? - Definition & Examples 2:53
- Like & Unlike Terms
- Is Zero an Integer?
- Is Zero a Natural Number? 2:37
- Sieve of Eratosthenes: Lesson for Kids
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