The term "minus" is used to describe the operation of subtraction as well as the sign used to indicate the operation of subtraction. The minus sign is written as "-".

The subtraction problem,

7 - 3 = 4

is read as "seven minus three equals four."

The minus sign is also used with negative numbers. For example, the number five is written as 5, while negative five is written as -5. This is read both as "negative five" as well as "minus five," and means the same thing.

It is also possible to have two minus signs for the subtraction of a negative number:

5 - (-5) = ?

One of the rules of negative numbers is that multiplying an even number of negative numbers makes a positive number. In this case, we can treat the two minus signs and the multiplication of (-1) and (-5), which turns the problem into:

5 + 5 = 10


-5 - 5 = -10

-5 - (-5) = 0

As a side note, when there is no plus sign (+), we assume that the number is positive. For example, we could write,

+5 + (+5) = 10

but there is no need to because multiple plus signs won't change the result the same way multiple minus signs do, and the above is exactly the same as writing:

5 + 5 = 10