# How do you simplify #abs(33)#?

##### 1 Answer

Aug 3, 2015

#### Explanation:

The absolute value function is a special class of function called a piecewise function. What this means is it has more than one definition that depends on the input.

Those definitions are:

if

if

so for our example

The above is the technical definition of the function. However, I think it is easier to think about it as a distance function. The absolute value tell you how far a number is from zero. Then it becomes obvious what the value should be.

and this is simplification makes us happy.