# Multiplying and Dividing Negative Numbers

A fundamental mathematical ability is the ability to multiply and divide negative numbers according to a set of well-defined rules that are simple to understand after some experience. Let's examine these ideas and explain how they operate.

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## Multiplying Negative Numbers

When multiplying numbers, the sign of the product depends on the signs of the factors. The basic rules are:

Positive × Positive = Positive

Negative × Negative = Positive

Positive × Negative = Negative

Negative × Positive = Negative

### Why do these Rules Work?

• This is simple: Positive × Positive equals Positive. For instance, 3 × 4 equals 12
• Imagine it as reversing twice: Negative × Negative equals Positive. Reversing a negative number once more returns it to a positive direction if it was indicating the reverse of a positive direction. As an illustration, −3 × − 4 = 12.
• Positive × Negative = Negative: You are effectively traveling in the other direction when you multiply a positive number by a negative number. For instance, 3 × − 4 = −12.
• Negative × Positive = Negative: Likewise, a negative product is produced when a negative number is multiplied by a positive number. For instance, −3 × 4 = −12.

Examples:

. 5 × −3=−15

. −7 × −2=14

. 8 × 3=24

### Dividing Negative Numbers

Division of negative numbers follows similar rules as multiplication:

Positive ÷ Positive = Positive

Negative ÷ Negative = Positive

Positive ÷ Negative = Negative

Negative ÷ Positive = Negative

### Why do these Rules Work?

• Positive ÷ Positive = Positive: As with multiplication, dividing two positive numbers is straightforward. For example, 12 ÷ 3 = 4 12÷3=4.
• Negative ÷ Negative = Positive: Dividing two negatives cancels out the negative signs, resulting in a positive quotient. For example, − 12 ÷ − 3 = 4 −12÷−3=4.
• Positive ÷ Negative = Negative: Dividing a positive number by a negative number results in a negative quotient. For example, 12 ÷ − 3 = − 4 12÷−3=−4.
• Negative ÷ Positive = Negative: Dividing a negative number by a positive number also results in a negative quotient. For example, − 12 ÷ 3 = − 4 −12÷3=−4.

Examples:

. 20÷−4=−5

. −16÷−2=8

. −18÷3=−6

### Why is this Important?

comprehending how to multiply and divide negative numbers is vital for solving equations, working with inequalities, and comprehending numerous real-world events. For example, calculating profits and losses, temperature changes, and scientific measurements typically require negative numbers.

### Tips for Mastering These Concepts

• Practice Often: Repetition of practice aids in the reinforcement of these guidelines.
• Employ Number Lines: Understanding the direction and size of numbers may be aided by using visual aids such as number lines.
• Recall the Guidelines: Remember the fundamental guidelines and follow them carefully.
• Verify Your Work: To guarantee accuracy, always verify your results twice.

Negative numbers can be difficult to multiply and divide at first, but with frequent practice and a firm grasp of the guidelines, it gets much simpler. Gaining proficiency in these operations can improve your confidence and general math abilities by putting you in a better position to handle a variety of mathematical situations.

Q1: What happens when you multiply two negative numbers?

Ans: When you multiply two negative numbers, the product is positive. This is because the two negative signs cancel each other out.

Example: −3×−4=12-3 \times -4 = 12−3×−4=12

Q2: What is the result when you multiply a positive number by a negative number?

Ans: When you multiply a positive number by a negative number, the product is negative. The positive and negative signs combine to give a negative result.

Example: 5×−2=−105 \times -2 = -105×−2=−10

Q3: How do you divide two negative numbers?

Ans: When you divide two negative numbers, the quotient is positive. Similar to multiplication, the two negative signs cancel each other out.

Example: −12÷−3=4-12 ÷ -3 = 4−12÷−3=4

Q4: What is the outcome of dividing a positive number by a negative number?

Ans: When you divide a positive number by a negative number, the quotient is negative. The positive and negative signs combine to give a negative result.

Example: 20÷−4=−520 ÷ -4 = -520÷−4=−5

Q5: Why does multiplying or dividing two negative numbers result in a positive number?

Ans: Multiplying or dividing two negative numbers results in a positive number because the negative signs cancel each other out. This can be understood as reversing direction twice, which brings you back to the positive direction

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