How to use column subtraction

Column subtraction is also known as vertical calculations.

If the numbers are too high or too difficult to subtract in your head, 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. 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.