## Hey--Any Inputs would be great

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### Hey--Any Inputs would be great

by dddanny2006 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:58 am
Hey Guys,

I have a small confusion here.Can anybody please explain what does a positive difference between a and b means.I seem to have understood it,but the same doubt keeps creeping in my head.

Thank you.

Dan

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by GMATGuruNY » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:15 am
dddanny2006 wrote:Hey Guys,

I have a small confusion here.Can anybody please explain what does a positive difference between a and b means.I seem to have understood it,but the same doubt keeps creeping in my head.

Thank you.

Dan
The positive difference between a and b is equal to the DISTANCE between a and b: |a-b|.
If a=2 and b=3, the positive difference = |2-3| = |-1| = 1.
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by mevicks » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:27 am
positive difference between a and b = distance between a and b on the number line OR absolute value of |a - b|

If you knew which number was bigger then you would not require the mod sign (if a > b then a - b is the positive difference)

In fact differences are always positive

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by [email protected] » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:40 pm
Hi dddanny2006,

Both Mitch and mevicks have provided the technical math definition to your question. Here's a bit simpler of a way to think about it:

Take two numbers, say 2 and 5. What COULD the difference between these two numbers be?

2 - 5 = -3

5 - 2 = +3

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by [email protected] » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:52 pm
Just to emphasize an earlier remark - there is no such thing as negative difference! (That would mean that a number is less different than 0 from itself, or more like itself than itself.)

"Positive difference between a and b" = "difference between a and b" = |a - b|

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