# How do you translate "the difference of 7 and a number n" into a mathematical expression?

Jun 13, 2016

We can write it as $| n - 7 |$

#### Explanation:

Difference is different from subtraction.

While subracting a number, say $7$ from $n$, the result is $n - 7$ and it could be positive or negative, depending on whether $7$ is less than or more than $n$.

The difference, on the contrary is independent of sign and is always positive. For example, difference between $3$ and $7$ as well as $7$ and $11$ is $4$.

Hence to write the difference between $7$ and $n$, we can write it as $| n - 7 |$, the absolute value of #n-7.