Integer Addition Challenges

I have noticed that a number of relatively senior learners, in Grades 10-12, still struggle with types of integer addition.

For example, consider the following three simple arithmetic integer sums:

$latex 8-3$
$latex -3+8$
$latex -3-8$

Whereas the first and second have the same value they often yield different answers. All I have done is to move the
$latex -3$ to the start of the sum.

I am hoping that you did understand that both of these will produce the answer of $latex 8$.

For the third sum, the situation is different, and I have also found some confusion with this, in which learners tend to misunderstand whether this means $latex 8-3$ or $latex 3-8$, and struggle to understand how to subtract a number from a negative numbers. It appears that they see the minus (-) signs used as having different meaning depending upon whether this is at the start of the sum or if this is between two other numbers.

The answer to this last sum is $latex 11$.

LaTeX : markup for mathematics

LaTeX is a language developed from the TeX computer typesetting language which was originally created by the computer scientists Donald Knuth in the 1970s.

LaTeX is generally represented by the logo $latex \LaTeX$, which you will only see if your browser can render LaTeX correctly. If this logo does not display, then you should look at the Getting Started page of this web site, which will indicate what browsers support LateX and which do not. Using LaTeX we can easily enter mathematical expressions such as $latex {x+2=\dfrac{3}{2x-1}}$ which are in the language of mathematics itself.

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Welcome to

This site is dedicated to helping to improve the standards of mathematics in South Africa. It is primarily aimed at school-level learners and teachers but will be a useful resource for those interested in the more advanced aspects of mathematics, as well as those who are simply interested in mathematics or work with mathematics in their daily lives (as do most of us today!).

At present this sites is being started, and thus does not have much content, but over time more and more mathematics will be added to ensure that this becomes a useful reference for all.
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