# Arithmetic/Absolute Values

## Absolute value

editThe absolute value of a number is found by applying a simple rule: If you see a negative sign in front of the number, change it to a plus sign. If you see a plus sign, leave it alone. So, for example, the absolute value of -17 is +17. The absolute value of +36 is +36.

Another way to understand the absolute value of a number is to think about the number line:

The absolute value of a number is the distance from zero to that number on the number line.

The absolute value of x is usually written as |x|. On calculators and computers it is sometimes written as abs (x).