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Absolute Value

The absolute value of a number is the distance of that number from zero on a number line. We use vertical bars to indicate absolute value.

For example, the absolute value of 8 is written |8|.

On the number line, we see that |8| = 8 since the distance from 8 to 0 is 8 units.

Similarly, |8| = 8 since the distance from -8 to 0 is also 8 units.

Since distance cannot be negative, the absolute value of a number is always nonnegative. That is, the absolute value of a number is always 0 or positive.
 
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