Math101: How to Use the Number Line

A number line is a horizontal line that has equally spread number increments. The numbers included on the line will determine how the number on the line can be answered. The question that goes with the number determines how it will be used, for example, plotting a point. 

The arrows on the ends of the number line indicate that the numbers continue forever in each direction.  

A number line can be used to demonstrate the addition, subtraction, division, and times table questions. Also, the number line will help you to understand the concept of negative numbers.

Example 1

Place a dot on the number line to show a number that is greater than 4, but not 6.

Example 2 

Show the dots that represent the even numbers that are between 0 and 6.

Decimals and Fractions on the Number Line

It is very important to understand how to locate mixed fractions, fractions, or decimals on the number line. The number line can represent or use to compare the sizes of numbers. The numbers on the left are smaller than the numbers on the right.

Absolute Value

: how far the number is from zero (0) without considering which direction from zero the number lies. The absolute value is always a positive number. Two straight lines around a number indicate absolute value.

Important tips

  1. Make sure you understand the concepts and do as many math practice sets as you can.  
  2. Reading questions carefully will help to identify exactly what the question is asking you to do.
  3. Draw the number line and dot numbers. It will help you to understand and get the answer easily.

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