# Negative numbers-Subtraction

by C0nfused
 P: 367 I was taught that there were actually 3 meanings of the symbol "-". The symbol can be part of a number like -5, it can mean subtraction like 4-2, or it can be negation as in -(x+2). These three cases, however are sufficiently related, that often the line blurs between them (like does - in $-\sqrt{2}$ express the negation of the result of the root, or is it simply part of the number "negative root 2"?). The ambiguity is irrelevant to the result, though, which is why we use the same symbol for all of these things.