difference of a number and a variable

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

  1. samjesse

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2008

    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
    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.

    Refer to this source: http://math.about.com/od/algebra/a/How-To-Write-Expressions-In-Algebra.htm
  3. Sparky007

    New Member

    Jul 21, 2014
    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.

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014