What Are Opposite Numbers? - Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What Are Rectangular Numbers? - Definition & Examples

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

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 The Same, But Different
  • 1:22 It Is All in the Signs
  • 1:58 Other Types of…
  • 2:31 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: 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!

The Same, But Different

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.

Opposite numbers number line
Opposite numbers number line

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.

It Is All in the Signs

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.

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