# difference of a number and a variable

Discussion in 'Math' started by samjesse, Jul 16, 2014.

1. ### samjesse Thread Starter Active Member

Sep 14, 2008
202
0
Hi

how would this be written in algebra
The difference of 4 and k
4-k or k-4

thank you

2. ### djsfantasi AAC Fanatic!

Apr 11, 2010
2,905
878
The order of the expressions in the verbal description, denotes the order of operation. Hence, the difference of 4 and k would be 4-k. Since the 4 comes first in the description, it comes first in the expression. If the statement was the difference of k and 4, the expression would be k-4.

3. ### Sparky007 New Member

Jul 21, 2014
7
0
If the difference between the two is desired but the order of subtraction is not important I would write it down as the distance between two points on the real line.

That is;
d(4,k)=|4-k| (k is an element of the real numbers)
where |4-k|=|k-4|,
verball [the absolute value of (4-k)]=[the absolute value of (k-4)]

Using this will give you a positive value of the distance between the two, which in the case of real numbers will give you the difference.

Sparky007

Last edited: Jul 21, 2014