# Basic Subtraction: A Simple Guide

Subtraction is a fundamental arithmetic operation that involves taking away one number from another. It’s an essential skill in everyday life, from calculating change at the store to figuring out how much time you have left before a deadline.

## Understanding Subtraction

Think of subtraction as finding the difference between two numbers. It’s like figuring out how much is left over after you remove something.

For example, if you have 5 apples and you eat 2, you subtract 2 from 5 to find out how many apples you have left: 5 – 2 = 3.

## Basic Subtraction Symbols

The symbol for subtraction is a minus sign (-). We use this symbol to show that we’re taking away one number from another.

## Subtraction with Single Digits

Subtracting single digits is the easiest form of subtraction. Here’s how it works:

• Example 1: 7 – 3 = 4
• Example 2: 9 – 5 = 4
• Example 3: 6 – 1 = 5

## Subtraction with Multiple Digits

When you subtract numbers with multiple digits, you subtract each place value column separately, starting from the rightmost column.

• Example 1: 25 – 12
• Units column: 5 – 2 = 3
• Tens column: 2 – 1 = 1

So, 25 – 12 = 13

• Example 2: 48 – 29
• Units column: 8 – 9. Since 9 is larger than 8, we need to borrow 1 ten from the tens column. This makes the units column 18 and the tens column 3.
• Units column: 18 – 9 = 9
• Tens column: 3 – 2 = 1

So, 48 – 29 = 19

## Practice Makes Perfect

Subtraction is a skill that improves with practice. You can use flashcards, worksheets, or even everyday situations to get more comfortable with subtraction.

## Key Takeaways

• Subtraction is about finding the difference between two numbers.
• The minus sign (-) indicates subtraction.
• Practice is crucial for mastering subtraction skills.