# Subtraction

## Overview

We can use math to solve problems! Sometimes, we want to know how many there are in all, so we add.

Sometimes, we want to know the difference between two groups, so we subtract!

You can find how many are left by using subtraction.

Subtraction is the action of separating two groups.

Let’s take a closer look at the example above.

There are five balloons, but two of the balloons are crossed out.

We can SUBTRACT to find the difference between the two groups.
We started with FIVE balloons, but TWO of the balloons are gone.
When we SUBTRACT 5 minus 2, we have 3 left.
We say: FIVE minus TWO equals THREE.
We can write it like this:

5 – 2 = 3

Here’s another example.

In this problem, we are finding the difference between two groups of cookies.
We are SUBTRACTING to find out how many are left.
This will tell us how many cookies are left.

We can see that there were eight cookies to start with. Four of the cookies are now gone.
When we SUBTRACT 8 minus 4, we have 4 left.
We say: EIGHT minus FOUR equals FOUR.
We write it like this:

8 – 4 = 4

Here is another one to try.

In this problem, we are finding the difference between two groups of seashells.
We are SUBTRACTING to find out how many are left.
This will tell us how many seashells are left.

We can see that there were six seashells to start with. Three of the seashells are now gone.
When we SUBTRACT 6 minus 3, we have 3 left.
We say: SIX minus THREE equals THREE.
We write it like this:

6 – 3 = 3

Let’s try one more!

This time, we are subtracting the number 7 from the number 9.
The first number in the subtraction sentence is called the MINUEND.
The second number in the subtraction sentence is called the SUBTRAHEND.
This problem reads as

9 – 7 = 2.

When the SUBTRAHEND  7  is subtracted from the MINUEND  9, we get a DIFFERENCE of  2.

DIFFERENCE is used to describe the amount that is left.

There are many different words that are used to describe subtraction. For example, we can TAKE AWAY a number to find the DIFFERENCE. Here are several other examples which you should be familiar with:

Knowing these keywords will help you understand that in order to solve some problems, you must subtract.

Let’s try introducing subtraction in basic word problems.

In the problem, Bert has more cars than Bob. The key word is DIFFERENCE. This helps tell us that we need to SUBTRACT.

Bob has  8 cars. Bert only has  4 cars. We can subtract to find the DIFFERENCE.

8 – 4 = 4 cars

There are many strategies you can use to help you subtract correctly. We will learn about these in other lessons.

Now, let’s practice!

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### Practice Question 1

Find the difference to solve.

### Practice Question 2

Solve using subtraction.

### Practice Question 3

Use the key words to help you solve.

### Practice Question 4

Find out how many are left.

### Practice Question 5

Solve by subtracting.

Now you’re ready to take a quick quiz on subtraction. Click below!

See Related Worksheets:
1st grade
Sunny Bird Subtraction Stories
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(0)
Subtraction is tough for some kids! Pictures really help as they learn what it means to "take away"....
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Gilly the Giraffe just loves music! As she plays her favorite tunes, colorful music notes fill the a...
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Sail the Subtraction Sea
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(0)
These "draw and solve" problems give your kiddos the chance to show what they know through drawings....
Relevant Topics:

### Try ArgoPrep for FREE

Share good content with friends and get 15% discount for 12-month subscription

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