Introduction To Subtraction

Subtraction means taking away a number from another number. Minus “ – ” is the symbol used for showing subtraction. Number from which the other number is to be taken away or subtracted is called Minuend.

The number which is to be taken away or subtracted from minuend is called subtrahend. The final result obtained after taking away or subtracting subtrahend from minuend is called difference.

The formula for the subtraction can be written as :

Minuend – subtrahend = Difference

9 – 3 = 6 

Where 9 is Minuend, 3 is subtrahend and 6 is the Difference.

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Subtraction can be taught in primary classes by striking or removing pictures and counting the left out, using number lines, using ten frames, using fingers, striking tally marks, by column method etc.

Learning subtraction prepares kids to understand division and further complex calculations in Maths.

Subtraction using pictures(Up to 10)

  • This is the best method to introduce subtraction to kids as learning subtraction becomes easier and interesting for kids by using pictures.
  • In this method,1 group of pictures is given with the question and following steps are followed for subtraction :
  1. Kids need to strike off or cut a number of  pictures which are equal to the number that is to be subtracted.
  2. Count the left out pictures and write the answer.

6 – 2 = 4, here the difference is 4.

 Subtraction (1 Digit)

  • In single digit subtraction, only digits from 0 to 9 are used to subtract.
  • In one digit Subtraction, a single number is subtracted from another single number.
  • The smaller number is subtracted from the bigger number.
  • Subtraction is simply done by cutting or striking off and counting the remaining.

For Example : To subtract 9 – 6

  1. Draw 9 sticks.
  2. Strike off 6 sticks.
  3. Count the remaining number of sticks.
  4. Difference is 3.
Uncle Math 3 to 5 Years App Banner
Uncle Math 3 to 5 Years App Banner


Teaching subtraction with kid friendly, clear and easy to understand posters from Uncle Math School by Fun2Do Labs:


Ignite kids’ curiosity with engaging stories for role play and skits, making the learning of this concept an exciting and effective experience. Teaching subtraction through stories from Uncle Math School by Fun2Do Labs :

Text of Stories


Learning introduction to subtraction can be made enjoyable by incorporating interactive games and activities.

Pipes With Beads :

Explaining subtraction to kids can be tricky. This activity will simply raise kids’ interest in practising subtraction more and more. Activity can be carried out by following the steps :

  1. Kids can be given colorful pipe cleaners and beads.
  2. Instruct kids to put the number of kids as per the practise question. For example, 8 minus 2.
  3. Help the kid put 8 beads in a pipe.
  4. Instruct to take away 2 beads from the pipe.
  5. Count the left – over beads to determine the required difference.


Help your kids to practise subtraction by interesting and fun worksheets from Uncle Math by Fun2Do Labs.

Worksheet 221 : Subtraction With Pictures
Solution 221 : Subtraction With Pictures
Worksheet 222 : Subtraction With Pictures
Solution 222 : Subtraction With Pictures
Worksheet 223 : Single Digit Subtraction
Solution 223 : Single Digit Subtraction

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