# How do you translate into symbols: The difference between n and 14?

Dec 11, 2015

$| n - 14 |$

Dec 11, 2015

I'd say $\left\mid n - 14 \right\mid$

#### Explanation:

It depends on how exactly you interpet the idea of "difference".

If you speak in a merely numeric sense, then the difference between two numbers $a$ and $b$ is simply $a - b$, and so the answer would be $n - 14$

Anyway, in a more general sense, maybe the absolute value is more adequate, since it computes "how far" two numbers are from each other, giving always a positive result. It seems more logic, because it says that $a$ is far from $b$ exactly as much as $b$ is far from $a$, while using the "standard" difference, you have that $a - b$ and $b - a$ have opposite signs.

So, I'd say that the most proper answer is $\left\mid n - 14 \right\mid$