Absolute value, represented as a vertical line on either side of the value, refers to a number or variable’s distance from zero on the number line. There are always two numbers that share the same distance from zero: a positive number and its negative counterpart.

Thus, the absolute value of a number is that number without a positive or negative sign. For example:

|4| = 4

|-4| = 4

Both of these values (4 and -4) are equidistant from 0, and thus have the same absolute value.

If you are ever confused by absolute value, just remember that absolute value is capturing the distance of a number from 0. Here are a few more examples.

- |8| = 8; the absolute value of 8 is 8
- |-8| = 8; the absolute value of -8 is also 8
- |15| = 15; the absolute value of 15 is 15
- |-15| = 115; the absolute value of -15 is also 15

It’s also important to understand how to solve a problem with absolute value, or to solve for a variable (x) in an equation with absolute value. Take a look at the following three examples:

Some absolute value problems can be quite tricky, but you can solve all absolute value questions by making sure to account for the both the positive and negative counterparts.

**Answers to Practice Problems**

- 221
- 134
- 6
- 2, -2

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