With all of the rules and scenarios, remembering how to add and subtract negative numbers can be difficult. Here’s a little trick to help you remember. Let’s say we want to solve 3 plus -7. First, imagine a number line with a bird sitting on our first number, 3. The operation plus or minus tells you which end of the number line to look at. Since we’re adding, our little bird will look right toward the positive end. Our second number tells us how far to move and which direction to move. We’ll move forward if it’s positive and backwards if it’s negative. Since our second number is a -7, our little bird is going to move backwards seven spaces. Since he landed at -4, that’s our answer: 3 plus -7 equals -4. Let’s try another one. What about -2 minus -4? Our first number is -2, so that’s where we’ll start. Our operation is a minus, so our bird will look left towards the negative end. Our second number is a -4; therefore, our bird will move backwards 4 spaces. Our bird landed at +2, and that’s our answer: -2 minus -4 equals 2. Let’s recap. The first number is where you start. The operation tells you where to look: Plus, right, or minus, left. The second number tells you how far to move and in which direction: positive, forward, or negative, backwards. Where you land is your answer. That’s it! You now know a trick for adding and subtracting negative numbers.