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Subtracting Decimals

Subtraction of decimal numbers is same as subtraction of integers. The only difference is that we need to take care of decimal point.
First digit after decimal is known as digit at tenth $(\frac{1}{10})^{th}$ place. In the same way, 
second digit after decimal is known as digit at hundredth $(\frac{1}{100})^{th}$ place and so on.

Following points should be kept in mind while subtracting decimals:

  • Adding zeros at the end of a decimal number does not change its value. So, add zeros at the end to make the decimal numbers of same length.
  • While subtracting, always keep decimal point of a number which is to be subtracted, below the decimal point of the number from which the number is subtracted.
  • Start subtracting from the right side of the numbers.
  • If the digit to be subtracted is smaller than the digit from which it is subtracted, then borrow 1 from previous digit. As the result, the digit is increased by 10 and previous digit is reduces by 1.
Let us understand this concept more precisely with the help of examples:

Example 1: Subtract 21.4 from 31.5.
Decimal Subtraction Example
Example 2: Subtract 65.7 from 98.6.
Decimal Subtraction

Example 3: Subtract 729.53 from 980.5.
Solution: Here, the numbers are not of same length, therefore we add a zero at the end of second number which makes it 980.50.
Example of Decimal Subtraction

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