**Question**

Why can’t the answer be -2 and -18? We know |*x*| = +*x* and -*x*. Don’t we get two answers for *x*?

**Answer**

The absolute value of a number always returns its positive value. So |4| = 4, and |-4| = 4. In other words, |*x*| = +*x*. I think the confusion may lie in the case where we have an equation, where we have something like:

|*x*| = 2

This means that x = +/-*x*, or:

*x* = 2, -2

However, this property doesn't come into effect in this question—here, we are just evaluating the absolute value of -4, which is 4. If this doesn't seem familiar, I'd recommend reviewing the lesson on absolute values.

**Link**

https://gre.magoosh.com/questions/2195

## Comments