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Simplifying Multiple Positive or Negative Signs Lessons

This is the most basic method for simplifying equations or expressions.

Note: Some instructors choose to cover this topic directly, while others do not. The concepts presented are simple and so we recommend that you follow this lesson so that you will have an understanding of what to do when multiple signs are encountered in the future.

Imagine that you had a conversation with someone and said, "I am not, not hungry." Because you used double negatives, the statement you made would actually mean that you were hungry. This can lead to confusion, and it definately makes the sentence more complex than it needs to be. As a result, the use of double negatives in speech is generally considered improper.

Occasionally you may encounter an algebraic expression or equation that has more than one sign between two terms. If there are two or more negative or subtract signs, then the expression or equation should be simplified.

16 - - 4 = 5x

Using just a few simple to remember rules, multiple signs can be simplified easily. The next page will explain each rule.


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