What you need to know

Things to remember:

  • Positive number are on the right of 0.
  • Negative numbers are on the left of 0.
  • The “bigger” a negative number, the smaller it is.

A negative number is a number that is smaller than 0

Put the following number in size from smallest to biggest.

5                      7                      -3                     -7                     3                      -4

Let’s just take two numbers as an example, 7 and -7. Which is bigger? How can we tell? Well, as we count up on a number line our numbers are getting bigger, so the numbers to the right of another number will be bigger. So, let’s put these all on a number line.



Putting our numbers on the number line has help us put these in order. And, it helps us see three important points:

  • Negative numbers are always to the left of 0.
  • Negative numbers count backwards to the left in the same way positive numbers count to the right.

And, if we remove the 2 and 5:



3.The “bigger” the number part of the negative number, the smaller it is.

-7 is less than -3

-12 is less than -7

– 23 is less than -12

            So, the further left we go, the smaller the numbers are

Example Questions

Question 1: Which number is smaller, -25 or -100?


-100 is smaller than -25

Question 2: Put the following numbers in order from biggest to smallest


12                    4                      -3                     -18                   24                    -35


-35                   -18                   -3                     4                      12                    24