In these lessons, we help Grade 6 students learn how to subtract integers by “adding the opposite”.
The following figures show how to subtract integers by adding the opposite. Scroll down the page for more examples and solutions.
To find the opposite of an integer, we just change its sign. If it is negative, change to positive. If it is positive change to negative.
To subtract an integer, we can rewrite it as adding the opposite.
3 − 2 = 3 + (−2)
3 − (−2) = 3 + (+2)
Then, we use the same rules as adding integers.
The rules for adding integers are:
How to subtract integers?
Subtracting integers same as adding the opposite.
To subtract integers, first rewrite the subtraction as adding the opposite and then complete the addition.
-8 - 5 =
8 - 12 =
-7 - 7 =
6 - 2 =
10 - (-3) =
-4 - (-9) =
-8 - (-4) =
7 - (-7) =
This video goes through four examples on subtracting integers.
To subtract integers remember to change it into an addition problem. The first number plus the opposite of the second number.
5 - 8 =
15 - (-4) =
-32 - 7 =
-21 - (-3) =
Rule for subtracting integers
Add the opposite
-9 - -8 =
-10 - +7 =
-10 - -18 =
How to subtract integers by adding the opposite?
-4 - 3 =
-4 - (-3) =
Positive and negative integers are subtracted using the “add the opposite” method
Number lines and integer counters are also used to model each example problem.
-2 - 6 =
4 - (-5) =
-5 - (-3) =
3 - 6 =
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