• anonymous
Could someone help me understand this. I had a question I got wrong on a test. It was, "is lx-3l = 5 true if x is -8"? I solved it by replacing x with -8 and just subtracting 3 from 8 since, at that time, it was my understanding that when a problem is in absolute value bars, the signs are ignored and every number is positive. I then came here to this website and learned that problem should have been done with the 8 being negative, so -8 - 3, which is -11, and I make is positive because of the absolute value bars. So the correct answer was false since 11 does not equal 5. With that said, I
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • chestercat
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  • myininaya
-8-3=-11 not 5 or -5 the |-11| does not equal 5
  • anonymous
You don't ignore signs inside an absolute value, you treat the inside just like you would normally. Then when you evaluate the absolute value signs (take them off) you check to see if the entirety of what is inside is negative or positive. If it is positive you don't do anything. If it is negative you make it positive.
  • anonymous
I can understand that. But the problem I had on my math CD was l-97l + l97l--if I follow your instructions, then -97 + 97 is 0 and it states that my answer is incorrect and the correct answer is 97 + 97 = 194.

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