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How to Solve a Subtraction Problem with Regrouping

Do you know how to solve a subtraction problem with regrouping? Do you know how regrouping is done and why?

Today we are going to review how to subtract by regrouping and understand why it is done this way.

So that we can picture it better, we are going to do a subtraction with regrouping with the help of drawings. For example, let’s solve the following subtraction:

21 – 16 =?

First, we are going to represent the minuend and the subtrahend with cubes.



SubtractionNow we put the minuend and the subtrahend in place. 


The first thing we do is subtract the units. Since 1 is smaller than 6, we cannot subtract. We have to convert the 1 into a number that is greater than 6; that’s why we remove a ten from the minuend and regroup it with the units:


Now we have 11 – 6, which you can subtract. SubtractionLet’s look at another example:

33 – 5 =?Subtraction

Since 3 is smaller than 5, we cannot subtract the units yet. So we take a ten from the minuend and regroup it with the units. This way we will be able to perform the subtraction: regroupingIn summary Whenever the number that we are going to subtract is greater than the number it is being subtracted from, we should add 10 to the units and subtract 1 from the tens digit of the minuend…and this is how to solve subtractions with regrouping!

If you have enjoyed this post, share it with your friends. And remember that in Smartick you will be able to learn to do all types of subtractions and much more…

If you still have not done it, register for Smartick and try it for free.

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Diane Ackerman
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1 Comment;

  • Ron MackOct 01 2019, 10:04 AM

    Got it! Good info. thanks