To determine without calculating whether the sum of a positive number and a negative number will be positive, negative or zero, you must look at the signs and the absolute values of the addends.
Work Step by Step
When adding a negative number and a positive number, the sum has the sign of the addend with the larger absolute value. Determine which of the addends has the greater absolute value. If that addend is positive, the sum will be positive. If that addend is negative, the sum will be negative. If the addends are opposites (a positive and negative number with the same absolute value), the sum will be zero.