Subtracting one 3-digit or 4-digit number from another
Home learning focus
In this lesson, you will learn how to subtract 3 and 4-digit numbers.
This lesson includes:
one activity sheet
- If numbers are too high or too difficult to subtract in your head, you can write them down in columns.
- Separate the numbers into ones, tens, hundreds and thousands.
List the numbers in a column and always start with the ones first.
Estimate first and check afterwards - it's a good idea to estimate a rough answer first. And always check your actual answer.
Subtraction is the opposite to addition, so subtraction can always be checked by adding. For example you can check that 182 - 37 = 145 by doing the sum: 145 + 37 = 182
Look out for these words in problems: take away, difference, less than, minus, decrease, fewer than, reduce. They all indicate subtraction.
Numbers can be subtracted using the column method.
What is 548 - 125?
When subtracting two numbers in a place value column, if the second number is larger than the first it cannot be subtracted. You need to exchange a digit from a higher column.
What is 343 - 237?
Can you think how this method could be extended to subtract two 4-digit numbers from each other? Why not give it a try by choosing two random 4-digit numbers?