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Have you ever seen seals at the zoo? They are fascinating animals.

Jonah loves working with the seals. In fact, he learns more and more about them every day. One day when he arrived at work, Jonah discovered that there had been a new baby seal pup born the night before. The workers at the zoo had weighed the new pup and his mother just that morning. The mother seal had weighed 157 pounds when she had been weighed alone. The combined weight of both the Mother and pup was 171 pounds.

What did the new pup weigh?

To figure this out, you will need to understand how to subtract whole numbers. Pay close attention and you will learn all that you need to know in this Concept.

Guidance

Just like you have been adding whole numbers for a long time, you have been subtracting them for a long time too. Let’s think about what it means to subtract.

Subtraction is the opposite of addition. Hmmm.... What does that mean exactly? It means that if you can add two numbers and get a total, then you can subtract one of those numbers from that total and end up with the other starting number.

In other words, Subtraction is the opposite of addition. When you add two numbers you get a total, when you subtract two numbers, you get the difference .

15-9=\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

This is a pretty simple example. If you have fifteen of something and take away nine, what is the result? Think about how we can do this problem. First, we need to rewrite the problem vertically, just like we did when we were adding numbers. Remember to line up the digits according to place value.

15\\\underline{ - \ 9}\\6

This could probably be completed using mental math.

What about if you had more digits?

12, 456 - 237 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

Our first step is to line up these digits according to place value. Let’s look at what this will look like in our place value chart.

Ten Thousands Thousands Hundreds Tens Ones
1 2 4 5 6
2 3 7

Wow! This problem is now written vertically. We can go ahead and subtract.

12,456\\\underline{ \ - \ \ 237}

To successfully subtract these two values, we are going to need to regroup .

What does it mean to regroup?

When we regroup we borrow to make our subtraction easier. Look at the ones column of the example. We can’t take 7 from 6, so we borrow from the next number. The next number is in the tens column, so we can “borrow a 10” to subtract. If we borrow 10, that makes the 5 into a 4. We can make the 6 into 16 because 10 + 6 = 16 . There’s the 10 we borrowed.

Let’s put that into action.

Be careful-be sure you subtract according to place value. Don’t let the regrouping mix you up.

Our answer is 12,219.

Now try a few of these on your own. Subtract the following whole numbers.

Example A

674 - 59 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

Solution: 615

Example B

15,987 - 492 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

Solution: 15,495

Example C

22,456 - 18, 297 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

Solution: 4,159

Remember the Mother and the new baby seal pup? Well now that you have learned how to subtract whole numbers, you are ready to go back and look at that problem.

Here is the original problem once again.

Have you ever seen seals at the zoo? They are fascinating animals. Jonah loves working with the seals. In fact, he learns more and more about them every day. One day when he arrived at work, Jonah discovered that there had been a new baby seal pup born the night before. The workers at the zoo had weighed the new pup and his mother just that morning. The mother seal had weighed 157 pounds when she had been weighed alone. The combined weight of both the Mother and pup was 171 pounds.

What did the new pup weigh?

To figure this out, we will need to write a subtraction problem. We know that the mother seal weighed 157 pounds and the combined weight of the mother and new pup was 171 pounds.

If we subtract 157 from 171, we will have the weight of the new pup.

171 - 157 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

The answer is 14. The seal pup weighed fourteen pounds.

Vocabulary

Here are the vocabulary words that are found in this Concept.

Difference
the answer to a subtraction problem
Regroup
when you need to borrow from the next column in subtraction

Guided Practice

Subtract the following values.

567 - 391 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

Answer

To subtract these values, we first have to line up the values according to place value. Then we subtract. Don't forget to regroup.

567 - 391 = 176

Interactive Practice

Subtraction

Video Review

These videos will help you with subtracting whole numbers.

Khan Academy Basic Subtraction

James Sousa Example of Subtracting Whole Numbers

Practice

Subtract the following values.

1. 56 - 21 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

2. 50 - 23 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

3. 267 - 19 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

4. 345 - 127 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

5. 560 - 233 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

6. 1600 - 289 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

7. 5400 - 2334 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

8. 8990 - 7865 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

9. 12340 - 3456 = \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

10. 23410 - 19807 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

11. 35611 - 9037 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

12. 22410 - 11807 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

13. 54600 - 21807 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

14. 88419 - 32817 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

15. 93415 - 10007 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

16. 67419 - 39807 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

17. 123410 - 119807 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

18. 334410 - 219807 =\underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

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Date Created:

Oct 29, 2012

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Dec 17, 2014
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