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Subtracting Test #3



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In this section, we continue to learn about the topic of integers. Now, we turn to subtracting integers. How do we subtract integers? In order to be able to subtract with integers, we must first have a firm understanding of how to add integers. When we are subtracting integers, we change our problem into addition of the opposite.
Subtracting Integers
  1. Leave the first number unchanged (minuend or left number)
  2. Change the subtraction operation to addition
  3. Change the second number (subtrahend) into its opposite
  4. Perform the addition
Example 1: Subtract -2 - 3
1) Leave the first number (-2) unchanged: -2 - 3
2) Change the subtraction operation into addition: -2 + 3
3) Change the second number (3) into its opposite (-3): -2 + (-3)
4) Perform the addition: -2 + (-3) = -5

Example 2: Subtract 5 - (-7)
1) Leave the first number (5) unchanged: 5 - (-7)
2) Change the subtraction operation into addition: 5 + (-7)
3) Change the second number (-7) into its opposite (7): 5 + 7
4) Perform the addition: 5 + 7 = 12
This last example demonstrates a common source of confusion. We performed a subtraction, but we increased in value. When we subtract away a negative, the result is addition of a positive number.
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