Posted by tom on .
help me combine like terms. like how do you do it with different signs in the problem.
17 + 4w  12  w

Math 
JJ,
17 12 is a subtraction problem
4w w is a subtraction problem. 
Math 
tom,
so lets say i had 4w81w
i take 4w+1w= 5w
then i have 8 left and i do
5w8 
Math 
Ms. Sue,
4w81w
Why did you change the problem from 1w to + 1w?
4w  1w = 3w
4w81w = 3w  8 
Math 
tom,
it was not negative that was a subtraction sign

Math 
Ms. Sue,
Then why didn't you subtract 1w from 4w?

Math 
JJ,
Negative signs and subtraction signs are really the same thing.
You can write 8  6
negative 8 subtract 6
which is the same thing as writing
8 + 6
negative eight plus negative 6.
In both cases, you get a 14 as the answer. 
Math 
Ken,
17+4w12w
=1712+4ww
=5+3w
...and yes "plus a negative" is exactly the same as minus.