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Definition of Additive Identity


Overview

Zero is a very special number.


From the Definition of Zero, we know it means none or nothing.
And since zero means none or nothing,
we can add zero to any other number,
and the number will stay the same.


 

This rule in math is called the Additive Identity!

It doesn’t matter if the zero comes first or last in the addition problem,
the answer is still the same.

5 + 0 = 5

and

0 + 5 = 5

Here’s something else to think about.
If we add zero to itself, it will always be zero.
Because more of nothing is…nothing!

0 + 0 = 0

And if we subtract zero from itself, it will always be zero.
After all, it’s not possible to take nothing from nothing!

0 – 0 = 0


 

The Additive Identity rule in math sounds complicated, but it’s really easy!
Let’s practice!

 

Practice Question 1

Let’s add zero to a number. What’s the answer?

5 + 0 = ____

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Remember it doesn’t matter whether the zero comes before the number or after the number in the addition problem.
TIP

Practice Question 2

What’s the answer?

50 + 0 = ____

 

Practice Question 3

Is this true or false?

0 + 8 = 8

 

Practice Question 4

Is it true or false?

10 + 0 = 0

 

Practice Question 5

What’s the missing number?

100 + ____ = 100

____ + 100 = 100

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The Additive Identity is a rule that will show up again when you’re ready for really advanced math like algebra. For now, it’s only important you know zero is a number meaning none or nothing and it doesn’t change other numbers!
TIP
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