Math For Real Life For Dummies
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The absolute value of a number is the positive value of that number. It tells you how far away from 0 a number is on the number line. The symbol for absolute value is a set of vertical bars.

Taking the absolute value of a positive number doesn’t change that number’s value. For example,

|3| = 3

|12| = 12

|145| = 145

However, taking the absolute value of a negative number changes it to a positive number:

|–5| = 5

|–10| = 10

|–212| = 212

About This Article

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About the book author:

Barry Schoenborn, a longtime math, science, and technical writer, is the coauthor of Technical Math For Dummies, Medical Dosage Calculations For Dummies, and Physician Assistant Exam For Dummies.

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