An example is 1-3+7+4. It is possible to group the terms of this sum. Specifically, 1 minus 3 equals minus 2, and 7+4 equals 11. Then one can add these two results and obtain the final answer. In other words, -2 and 11 will add to 9.

To demonstrate this on a number line, one can start at the number 1. It is important to keep in mind that as one moves toward the right, numbers become increasingly positive, and as one goes toward the left, numbers are more negative than they were before. Therefore, with a start at 1, it is possible to move 3 integers to the left. This will lead to a result of -2.

Then one can add 7 to this result. In other words, one will move 7 integers or whole numbers along the number line and towards the right. The result here is 5.

The final step to solve this sum of 4 numbers is to add 4 because it is the last term. Hence, one will move 4 integers to the right, and the answer is 9.

Obviously, there are several approaches to reach the solution, but the final answer will always be the same in this instance. It does not matter what order one uses for addition or subtraction, and it is acceptable to rearrange the integers in any way that one would like. This is because the process of addition is commutative [1, 2].

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