For estimating sums and differences in the number we use the rounded numbers for estimations to its nearest tens, hundred, and thousand.
Estimating Sums:
In many practical calculations, only an approximation is required rather than an exact answer. To do this, numbers are rounded off to a given place value of ten, hundred, thousand ...
Example on Estimating Sums:
1. There are 74 coconut cookies and 48 chocolate cookies in a jar. Estimate the total number of cookies.
Round the numbers to the nearest ten and add.
Rounded to TENS
There are approximately 120 cookies.
The actual number of cookies is 122.
The estimate differs from the actual by 2.
2. There are 275 students in class IVth and 238 students in class Vth. Estimate the total number of students in the two classes.
We can round the numbers either to the nearest ten or the nearest hundred and add to get an estimate.
Rounded to TENS
There are approximately 520 students.
The estimate differs from the actual by 7.
Rounded to HUNDREDS
There are approximately 500 students.
The estimate differs from the actual by 13.
Estimating Difference:
To estimate the difference, we roundoff each number to the nearest tens and then subtract the roundedoff numbers.
Let us estimate 48  22.
48 is nearer to 50 than 40. So, 48 is rounded up to 50.
The number 22 is nearer to 20 than 30.
So, 22 is rounded down to 20.
Example on Estimating Difference:
The school library has 284 science books and 268 social sciences books.
Estimate the difference in the number of books.
Rounded to TENS
The difference is approximately 20 books.
The estimate differs from the actual number by 4.
Rounded to HUNDREDS
In this case, rounding number to hundreds will not be meaningful as the difference will be 0.
Examples on estimating sums and differences of the numbers:
1. The number of students in Classes III, IV and V are 154,129
and 118. Estimate the total number of students in the three classes
taken together.
Solution:
The rounded numbers are used to estimate.
So 154 ⇒ 200 being more than 150
129 ⇒ 100 being less than 150
118 ⇒ 100 being less than 150
400 So total number as estimated is 400
[Note: Actual number is 401, which is one more than 400]
Answer: 400
2. There are 479 girls and 729 boys in a school. Estimate the total number of students in the school.
Solution:
For estimation the numbers may be taken to the nearest ten or hundred.
(i) 479 ⇒ 480
729 ⇒ 730
1208 ⇒ 1210
[Note: The estimated number is 1210 which is 2 more than the actual number]
(ii) 479 ⇒ 500
729 ⇒ 700
1208 ⇒ 1200
[Note: The estimated number is 1200 which is 8 less than the actual number]
3. There are 216 pages in the mathematics book of Class IV and
196 pages in the English book of the same class. Estimate the difference
in the number of pages of the two books.
Solution:
We use the rounded numbers for estimation.
216 ⇒ 220
 196 ⇒ 200
20 ⇒ 20
The estimated difference in number of pages is 20.
The actual difference is also 20.
4. Round off the numbers 324 and 777 to the nearest 10s. Find the estimated and actual difference.
Solution:
Rounding off the numbers to nearest 10s
324 → 320 777 → 780
Hence, 780 – 320 = 460 is the estimated difference.
Actual Difference
777 – 324 = 453 is the actual difference.
5. Round off the numbers 423 and 885 to the nearest 100s. Find the estimated and actual difference.
Solution:
Rounding off the numbers to nearest 100s
885 → 900 423 → 400
Hence, 900 – 400 = 500 is the estimated difference.
Actual Difference
885 – 423 = 462 is the actual difference.
Questions and Answers on Estimating Sums and Differences:
I. Find the estimated and exact difference for each of the given. First one is done for you.
II. In a toy factory different types of toys are manufactured. Given below is the number of different types of toys made in a month. Observe the data and answer the questions that follow.
Type of Toy Dolls Cars Soft Toys Super Heroes 
Quantity Manufactured 6731 5974 6585 6842 
(i) What is the difference between the number of dolls and cars made in a month? Give your answer to nearest 10 and 100.
Dolls Cars
(a) Nearest 10s: ____________ ____________
(b) Nearest 100s: ____________ ____________
(ii) If 1600 Super Heroes are sold in the market, then how many are left for sale?
(iii) How many more soft toys should be made in the factory to make the number 7000?
Answer:
(i) (a) 6730; 5970
(b) 6700; 6000
(ii) 5242
(iii) 415
III. Round off the given numbers to the nearest 10s. Find the estimated difference and actual difference.

Estimated Difference 
Actual Difference 
(i) 254 from 875 
__________ 
__________ 
(ii) 214 from 784 
__________ 
__________ 
(iii) 657 from 954 
__________ 
__________ 
(iv) 21 from 287 
__________ 
__________ 
Answer:
III. (i) 630, 621
(ii) 570, 570
(iii) 290, 297
(iv) 270, 266
IV. Round off the given numbers to the nearest 100s. Find the estimated difference and actual difference.

Estimated Difference 
Actual Difference 
(i) 121 from 145 
__________ 
__________ 
(ii) 124 from 448 
__________ 
__________ 
(iii) 215 from 659 
__________ 
__________ 
(iv) 347 from 728 
__________ 
__________ 
Answer:
IV. (i) 0, 24
(ii) 300, 324
(iii) 500, 444
(iv) 400, 381
Related Concept
● Addition
● Check for Subtraction and Addition
● Word Problems Involving Addition and Subtraction
● Estimating Sums and Differences
● Multiply a Number by a 2Digit Number
● Multiplication of a Number by a 3Digit Number
● Word Problems on Multiplication
● Division of TwoDigit by a OneDigit Numbers
● Division of FourDigit by a OneDigit Numbers
● Division by 10 and 100 and 1000
● Division by TwoDigit Numbers
4th Grade Math Activities
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