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Subtraction Word Problems

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Words like ‘difference’, ‘less’, ‘take away’, ‘loss’ usually means that subtraction is involved.

For subtraction, take note which number has to be subtracted from which number. Subtracting in the wrong order will give you the wrong answer.


Andy has 53 marbles. Sam has 105 marbles and lost 8 when his bag of marbles dropped. Find the difference between the number of marbles that Sam has left and Andy’s.


[Sam has 105 marbles] – [8 lost] – [Andy has 53 marbles]

105 – 8 – 53 = 44 marbles

The following video gives more examples of subtraction word problems.

Subtraction Word Problem

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

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