Subtraction Worksheets

Welcome to the Subtraction Worksheets page at Math-Drills.com where you will get less of an experience than our other pages! This page includes Subtraction worksheets on topics such as five minute frenzies, one-, two-, three- and multi-digit subtraction and subtracting across zeros.

Subtraction has been around for several years now... well maybe more than a few, so it's probably a good thing for students to learn. People experience subtraction every minute of their lives from banks and the government taking away your money to the cookies in the jar mysteriously disappearing. With a good knowledge of subtraction, you can understand why your bank account reaches zero and do something to prevent it from happening.

Some students do have difficulty with subtraction, so take it easy on them. Help them to learn their addition facts first. Once they know those, they will need a few more strategies to successfully subtract. Teaching with manipulatives like base ten blocks or cereal or insects in the park can help students gain a deeper understanding of subtraction. The subtracting worksheets on this page are meant to support good teaching practices, so only use them for independent learning if students are practising skills they already know.

Once students have mastered their subtraction facts (which shouldn't be too hard if they've already mastered their addition facts), you can continue with some two-digit and multi-digit subtraction. A variety of subtraction strategies can be taught, but don't forget the efficient pencil and paper algorithm for those more difficult questions. For simpler questions, please read about the mental strategy for subtraction described further down the page.

We use the words, minuend, subtrahend and difference on this page. Please refer to the following, so you know which word means which part of a subtraction question.

Minuend - Subtrahend = Difference

Subtraction Tables

Five Minute Subtraction Frenzy Charts

These charts are similar to the addition and multiplication frenzy charts, but due to the nature of how subtraction works, we could not focus solely on the single digit fact families. For example, you might get questions like 18 - 4 = 14. You also have to be aware that you must subtract the row number from the column number to get a positive number (or zero). Other than that, they should be a nice way to practice some mental subtraction. As with most of these pages, please only use them as a timed activity with students who will experience success. If a student does not have the necessary skills to complete a frenzy in under five minutes, you may need to take a different approach to how you deliver this page. For all others, students should be able to complete this page in under five minutes with a 98% or greater accuracy and improve their time as they get more practice.

Subtracting Single-Digit Numbers Worksheets a.k.a. Subtraction Facts

Subtracting single-digit facts is a skill that students generally learn after or while they are learning single-digit addition facts. The subtraction worksheets below are meant to be used for practice, testing or as a teaching skill. They will not teach students how to subtract or what the connection is between addition and subtraction; for that, students require a teacher or parent. If students are learning their subtraction facts, please use the suitable page below. For example, if your student has just learned subtracting by 3, then you will probably want to choose a subtraction worksheet that focuses on 3 as a subtrahend.

Questions Arranged Vertically

Subtracting with Minuends from 2 to 9

Subtracting with Minuends from 2 to 18 including zeros

Subtracting with minuends from 2 to 18 with No Zero subtrahends

Subtracting with Minuends From 10 to 18

Focus Digits

Questions Arranged Horizontally

Two-Digit Subtraction Worksheets

Try teaching a mental math strategy for subtraction called counting up. Here is how it is done:

Start with the second number (the subtrahend) and count up by tens until you find the closest value to the first number (the minuend). Keep track of how many tens you counted. Add or subtract a single digit number to get the minuend exactly then adjust the tens by that amount. For the question, 84 - 35, start at 35, and count, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85 (five tens) and one down to get 84. Five tens minus one is 49. For the question 65 - 22, start at 22 and count, 32, 42, 52, 62 (four tens) and three up to get 65. Four tens and three is 43. The previous examples used two-digit numbers, but the strategy can swiftly be modified for larger numbers. How far can your students go with it? Here is an example with three-digit numbers:

Let's use the question 927 - 648. First, count up by hundreds to 948 (that's 300). Then count down by tens to 928 (that's -20). Finally count down by ones to 927 (that's one). 300 - 20 - 1 = 279. That's almost easier than adding!

Questions Arranged Vertically

Questions Arranged Horizontally

Multi-Digit Subtraction Worksheets

U.S. Versions

SI Versions

European Versions

Questions Arranged Horizontally

Why horizontal subtraction worksheets? Students can show their understanding of place value and number sense if they do not already have the numbers lined up. Vertical subtraction is often learned based on a student's understanding of single-digit subtraction, but looking at the whole number is lost in the algorithm.

Subtracting Across Zeros a.k.a. Finding Complements