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Subtracting Decimals


The process of subtracting decimals is very similar to subtracting whole numbers. Doing so is simple if you remember pay attention to the position of the decimal point when subtracting.


Decimal Point - The decimal point looks like a period and is always placed after the “ones” position of a number.
Decimal Notation - Decimal notation is useful for writing numbers which are not whole numbers.
Whole Number - A whole number is a number with nothing but zeroes after the decimal point.


The most important thing to remember about subtracting decimals is to make sure that the decimal place lines up when subtracting. , for example. To make things easier, it may be helpful to place additional zeroes after the shorter number until both numbers have the same amount of digits. For example, when subtracting .03 from .2, the addition is more straightforward if you write the equation as .


Subtracting Decimals (Example 1) - 1.4

Subtracting Decimals (Example 2) - 2.5

Subtracting Decimals (Example 3)

William was 55.6 inches tall on his fifth birthday. On his sixth birthday he was 63.78 inches tall. How much did he during the year?

Subtracting Decimals Worksheets (PDF)

Subtracting Decimals Worksheet 1

Subtracting Decimals Worksheet 2

Subtracting Decimals Worksheet 3