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Math K-Plus

Arithmetic - Subtraction Definitions: Subtract, Minus, Minuend, Subtrahend, And Difference

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Subtraction Definitions: Subtract, Minus, Minuend, Subtrahend, And Difference


A simple example will be used to explain these definitions. Let's answer the question with an example. Sally has two apples and gives one apple to her teacher Ms. James. How many apples does Sally have left?
Sally has two apples to start:               
Subtraction object Subtraction object
She gives one apple to her teacher:         Subtraction object
How many apples does Sally have now:     Subtraction object


How do we show this in integer subtraction math?

  • Visually:     Subtraction object Subtraction object Subtraction object = Subtraction object
  • Numerically: 2 − 1 = 1


Subtraction Definitions
Word Definition
Subtract To take one number away from another. In the example above, number 1 is subtracted from number 2.
Minus The minus sign (-) is the sign of subtraction.
Minuend The first number in a subtraction; in this example, the number is two.
Subtrahend The second number in a subtraction; in this example, the number is one.
Difference The result when one number is subtracted from another. In the example above, the difference of the subtraction is 1.