Some properties of subtraction of whole numbers are:

Property 1:

If a and b are two whole numbers such that a > b or a = b, then a – b is a whole number. If a < b, then subtraction a – b is not possible in whole numbers.**For example:**

9 - 5 = 4

87 - 36 = 51

130 - 60 = 70

119 - 59 = 60

28 - 0 = 28

Property 2:

The subtraction of whole numbers is not commutative, that is, if a and b are two whole numbers, then in general a – b is not equal to (b – a).**Verification:**

We know that 9 – 5 = 4 but 5 – 9 is not possible. Also, 125 – 75 = 50 but 75 – 125 is not possible. Thus, for two whole numbers a and b if a > b, then a – b is a whole number but b – a is not possible and if b > a, then b – a is a whole number but a – b is not possible.

Hence, in general (a – b) is not equal to (b – a)

Property 3:

If a is any whole number other than zero, then a – 0 = a but 0 – a is not defined.**Verification:**

We know that 15 – 0 = 15, but 0 – 15 is not possible.

Similarly, 39 – 0 = 39, but 0 – 39 is not possible.

Again, 42 – 0 = 42, but 0 – 42 is not possible.

Property 4:

The subtraction of whole numbers is not associative. That is, if a, b, c are three whole numbers, then in general a – (b – c) is not equal to (a – b) – c.**Verification:**

We have,

20 – (15 – 3) = 20 – 12 = 8,

and, (20 – 15) – 3 = 5 – 3 = 2

Therefore, 20 – (15 – 3) ≠ (20 – 15) – 3.

Similarly, 18 – (7 – 5) = 18 – 2 = 16,

and, (18 – 7) – 5 = 11 – 5 = 6.

Therefore, 18 – (7 – 5) ≠ (18 – 7) – 5.

Property 5:

If a, b and c are whole numbers such that a – b = c, then b + c = a.**Verification:**

We know that 25 – 8 = 17. Also, 8 + 17 = 25

Therefore, 25 – 8 = 17 or, 8 + 17 = 25

Similarly 89 – 74 = 15 because 74 + 15 = 89.

● **Zero Property of Subtraction - **When zero is subtracted from the number, the difference
is the number itself.

**For example,**

(i) 8931 – 0 = 8931;

(ii) 5649 – 0 = 5649;

(iii) 245 – 0 = 245

(iv) 197 – 0 = 197

● **Properties of Subtraction of a Number from itself: **When a number is subtracted from itself the difference is
zero.

**For example,**

(i) 5485 – 5485 = 0

(ii) 345 – 345 = 0

(iii) 279 – 279 = 0

● **Predecessor
**– On subtracting 1 from any number, we get the number just before it. When 1 is subtracted from a number, we get its
predecessor.

**For example,**

(i) 6001 – 1 = 6000

(ii) 6000 – 1 = 5999

(iii) 163 – 1 = 162

(iv) 171 – 1 = 170

Questions and Answers on Properties of Subtraction:

**I. Fill in the blanks:**

(i) 568 – 0 = …………….

(ii) 7530 – 4530 = …………….

(iii) 7790 – 1 = …………….

(iv) 65894 – 65893 = …………….

(v) 54172 - ……………. = 0

(vi) 8688 – 8288 = …………….

(vii) 7721 – 5620 = …………….

(viii) 17281 – 1 = …………….

(ix) ……………. – 1 = 29999

(x) 29080 - ……………. = 29079

(xi) 548 - ………….. = 0

(xii) ………….. – 0 = 274

(xiii) 367 - ………….. = 367

(xiv) 765 – 765 = …………..

(xv) 212 – 0 = …………..

(xvi) 167 - ………….. = 0

(xvii) 647 – 647 = …………..

(xviii) 326 – 326 = …………..

(xix) ………….. – 0 = 876

(xx) 429 – 0 = …………..

(xxi) 999 – 999 = …………..

(xxii) 412 - ………….. = 412

**Answers:**

(i) 568

(ii) 3000

(iii) 7789

(iv) 1

(v) 54172

(vi) 400

(vii) 2101

(viii) 17280

(ix) 30000

(x) 1

(xi) 54

(xii) 274

(xiii) 0

(xiv) 0

(xv) 212

(xvi) 167

(xvii) 0

(xviii) 0

(xix) 876

(xx) 429

(xxi) 0

(xxii) 0

**II.** Match the given difference to its solution by coloring
the cloud and the shape with same color.

**Answer:**

(i) → 3

(ii) → 4

(iii) → 5

(iv) → 1

(v) → 2

**III. Write the predecessor of the following numbers:**

(i) 259 …………..

(ii) 608 …………..

(iii) 450 …………..

(iv) 374 …………..

(v) 900 …………..

(vi) 529 …………..

(vii) 201 …………..

(viii) 598 …………..

**Answers:**

**III.** (i) 258

(ii) 607

(iii) 449

(iv) 373

(v) 899

(vi) 528

(vii) 200

(viii) 597

Math Only Math is based on the premise that children do not make a distinction between play and work and learn best when learning becomes play and play becomes learning.

However, suggestions for further improvement, from all quarters would be greatly appreciated.

**Numbers Page**** ****6th Grade Page**** ****From Properties of Subtraction to HOME PAGE**

**Didn't find what you were looking for? Or want to know more information
about Math Only Math.
Use this Google Search to find what you need.**

## New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Ask a Question or Answer a Question.