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Teachers & SchoolsStudy Guide

The **absolute value** of a number is the number's *distance* from zero on a number line.

Since we never talk about distance as being negative, the absolute value of a number is always positive. Think of it as the *number of jumps* it would take to get to zero from a number.

- It would take five jumps to get to zero from -5, so the absolute value of -5 is 5.
- It would also take five jumps to get to zero from +5, so the absolute value of +5 is also 5.

We use bars (vertical lines) on either side of a number to mean absolute value.

**|-4| = the absolute value of -4 = 4**

Pretty simple. If the number is negative, make it positive. If the number is already positive, leave it alone.