Subtracting integers means reducing the first value by the second amount in an equation. So in the equation:
We take 8, reduce it by 3, leaving us with 5. So, 8 - 3 = 5.
However, when we are working with negative values or a mixture of positive and negatives, things get a little more advanced.
The golden rule to follow with subtracting integers is to combine the signs before you move on with the equation. The rules for combining signs are:
1) Negative and negative = addition
2) Positive and positive = addition
3) Negative and positive = subtraction
So, if you have the following equation:
You would first combine the signs. Since you have two negative (-) signs together, you convert that to an addition sign, meaning the equation looks like this:
We can then solve, since .
In the equation:
We can combine the signs. A negative and a positive sign together make a subtraction, so the equation looks like this:
, so that is the solution.
So, just remember, if the two signs are the same (- and -, or + and +) then the result is +; if the two signs are different (- and +, or + and -) then the result is -.