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 marblesExamples of subtraction word problems
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