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# What is the reciprocal of a negative number?

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The reciprocal of a negative number is also a negative number because when the two numbers are multiplied the answer is 1. For example, the reciprocal of -6 is -1/6, and the product of these two numbers is -6 x (-1/6)= 1.

## Keep Learning

The reciprocal of a number is also known as a multiplicative inverse, and it is defined as that number which when multiplied by the given number gives the result as unity, in other words 1. A reciprocal is determined by exchanging the position of the numerator and denominator in a given number. For example, the reciprocal of -2/3 is -3/2.

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## Related Questions

• A:

The multiplicative inverse of a negative number must also be a negative number. By definition, the product of a number and its multiplicative inverse is (positive) 1, which cannot be achieved by multiplying a positive and a negative number together.

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• A:

A negative minus a negative is equal to another negative number, a positive number or zero, depending upon the numbers in the equation. Subtracting a negative number from another negative number is the same thing as adding a positive number.

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A non-real, or imaginary, number is any number that, when multiplied by itself, produces a negative number. Mathematicians use the letter "i" to symbolize the square root of -1. An imaginary number is any real number multiplied by i. For example, 5i is imaginary; the square of 5i is -25.