You may remember the rules of **directed numbers **(which is just a fancy way of saying positive and negative numbers), but find them trickier to apply.

This is very common and many students feel this way.

Why?

Because the rules differ for** addition** and **subtraction**, compared with **multiplication** and **division**.

**The Rules:**

Two positive symbols make a** positive **overall.

A positive and a negative symbol make a **negative **overall.

A negative and a positive symbol make a **negative **overall.

Two negative symbols make a** ****positive** overall.

**The Exception > adding negative numbers:**

The complication comes when adding negative numbers.

They only affect each other if the signs are positioned **next to each other**.

So in the sum 3 + - 5, the signs** would** affect each other because they're together.

However, in the sum -3 + 6, the signs **would not **affect each other as they are not together.

Let's put these rules into context with some examples now.

**e.g. Work out the value of: 3 + - 5**

In this question we have a + and a - together, so they **will** affect each other.

They will become a **negative** overall.

This means we can rewrite the sum as: **3 - 5**

As 5 is larger than 3, our answer will be less than 0 and a negative number.

If we picture a number line and start at 3, we then need to move 5 to the left to reach **-2**

**e.g. Work out the value of: - 2 + - 4**

In this question we have a + and a - together, so they **will** affect each other.

They will become a **negative **overall.

This means we can rewrite the sum as: **- 2 - 4**

If we picture a number line and start at -2, we then need to move 4 to the left to reach **-6**

In this activity, you will apply the rules related to positive and negative numbers to work out answers to addition sums.