



 
Nick, The vertical line segments on each side of a number are not brackets, they indicate the absolute value of the number. The absolute value of a number is one of two things. If the number is not negative then the absolute value of the number is itself. Thus the absolute value of 6, written 6, is 6, 1/3 is 1/3 and 0 is 0. If the number is negative then to find the absolute value you just drop the negative sign. Thus 2 is 2 and 1/7 is 1/7. Penny  


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences. 