# How to Add Negative Numbers

## How to Add Negative Numbers

### Positive + Negative

1. The sign of the answer will match the sign of the "bigger" number.
2. Subtract the absolute value of the numbers.

### Negative + Negative

1. The sign of the answer will be negative.
2. Add the absolute values of the numbers.

## Why It Works

Negative numbers and positive numbers are opposites and when you add them together, they cancel each other out.

I like to use fire and ice as an analogy to understand why negative numbers are added the way they are.

The fire represents a positive number and the ice represents a negative number. When you put a fire and a block of ice together, the fire melts the ice and the water puts out the fire, neutralizing both.

$$-5+3=-2$$

$$-1+4=3$$

$$-2+-5=-7$$