Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Hannah:

write a pair if integers whose difference is -3 ( given that the greater number is 8 )

Hi Hannah,

I find this question somewhat confusing.

If one of the integers is 8 and the second is -3 units different from it then the second integer is 3 units to the left of 8 on the number line. Hence the second number is 5.

So why am I confused? You say "a pair if integers whose difference is -3" which 8 and 5 are if the difference is $5 - 8.$ But I might just as well say the difference between 8 and 5 is $8 - 5 = 3.$


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