Dealing With Negative Fractions: Where does the "minus" sign belong?

Ted_Grendy

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Joined
Nov 11, 2018
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36
Hello all

I am really just looking for some re-assurance as I have a lot of doubt in my mind.

The issue I have relates to negative fractions.

1) Would you agree that the following statements are all equal:-

-(1/18) = (-1)/18 = 1/(-18) = -1/18 = 1/-18

2) If I had the following question:-

(1/8) / (-14/18)

I would solve this by flipping (-14/18) and changing the / to a * to get:-

(1/8) / (-14/18) = (1/8) * (18/-14)

When I flip the (-14/18) does the negative stay with the -14 or does it not matter?

Thank you.
 

Subhotosh Khan

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Jun 18, 2007
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18,572
Hello all

I am really just looking for some re-assurance as I have a lot of doubt in my mind.

The issue I have relates to negative fractions.

1) Would you agree that the following statements are all equal:-

-(1/18) = (-1)/18 = 1/(-18) = -1/18 = 1/-18 .......................................Correct

2) If I had the following question:-

(1/8) / (-14/18)

I would solve this by flipping (-14/18) and changing the / to a * to get:-

(1/8) / (-14/18) = (1/8) * (18/-14).......................................Correct

When I flip the (-14/18) does the negative stay with the -14 or does it not matter?..................It does not matter

Thank you.
.
 

Ted_Grendy

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
36
thanks.
 

mmm4444bot

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Oct 6, 2005
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10,352
… When I [take the reciprocal of] -14/18 does the negative stay with the -14 …
Hello: For now, it probably doesn't matter. But here's a preview of things to come (in algebra).

When you have a negative ratio, you're free to place the negation symbol in any one of three positions (in the numerator, in the denominator, or in front of the ratio).

\(\displaystyle \dfrac{-18}{14} = \dfrac{18}{-14} = -\dfrac{18}{14}\)

You'll find out later, why one position may be better than another, when you start working with algebraic ratios. My preference, when doing arithmetic, is to move it out in front -- especially when reporting a final answer. Cheers :cool:
 
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