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  1. Key Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 2,015
    #1

    negative or minus

    3-5=-2
    Three minus five equals ____ two.
    Which word is more common, negative or minus?


    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 66
    #2

    Re: negative or minus

    (Not a teacher)

    Negative is more correct. The "minus two" is implying "zero minus two". A Negative is always working in the less than zero bracket.

    Both are commonly accepted and used, I'm sure using either will not cause you any problems with understanding.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 59,744
    #3

    Re: negative or minus

    Maybe it's a regional variation, but I would only use 'minus 2' for -2. Obviously, 'negative 2' would be clear in meaning. And for temperature, you'll hear both 'minus two' and 'two below zero'.

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