# What is the correct usage of the tilde symbol with negative numbers? [closed]

The tilde symbol (~) is used in academic texts in place of about or approximately.

Generally, it is placed immediately before the number (eg. AUD ~2.4 million), which works for positive numbers, where the positive symbol is not shown. However, when dealing with a negative number, the negative symbol is shown (eg. -3.7).

If this were an approximate value, would the tilde be placed before or after the negative symbol (~-3.7) or -~3.7)?

• The number is literally "approximately minus three". The number is literally not "minus approximately three". That is not how you say it, so I don't understand why that's what you'd want to write. – RegDwigнt Dec 12 '18 at 12:31
• This is a question of mathematical conventions, not English. – Hot Licks Dec 12 '18 at 12:51
• I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about English. – GEdgar Dec 12 '18 at 13:15
• @RegDwigнt I have no patience for this. You said: The number is literally not "minus approximately three". That is not how you say it. I disagree. If you don't want to give reasons for your statement, don't. But please refrain from these stupid games. – michael.hor257k Dec 12 '18 at 14:39
• ~(-3).In my experience very few people know what ~x means, – jimm101 Dec 14 '18 at 2:32