Main content

## 5th grade

### Unit 3: Lesson 2

Subtracting decimals (tenths)# Strategies for subtracting basic decimals

CCSS.Math:

Sal uses place value and a number line to subtract decimals, such as 1.5-0.7.

## Want to join the conversation?

- It is like subtracting but with a decimal point to watch out for(21 votes)
- Yes, the decimal point matters. When you add or subtract decimals, you have to make sure that the decimal points line up before moving on to solve the problem.(4 votes)

- I love math! And astronomy.(12 votes)
- subtracting with decimals(7 votes)
- F r e e e n e r g y p o i n t s(6 votes)
- When you did an easy problem like 0.3-0.2 all I did was subtract 3-2=1 and added the 0 first the the decimal and lastly the number 1 getting this decimal 0.1. Anyway besides this easy problem why didn't you do it like this for an easy problem?(5 votes)
- Mr. Sal uses a strategy to that shows you an easier problem first, so when you get to more difficult ones you are not overwhelmed. (he will go to more difficult ones later on)(5 votes)

- At5:03in the video, I don't get what he is trying to say?(5 votes)
- When subtracting 1.5-.7, you can break it down in many ways. At this time stamp, Sal is breaking it down to 1.5 - .5 - .2 because 1.5-.5 is easy to do and then 1-.2 is easy. That way it may be easier to do in your head.(1 vote)

- Let’s say I have 4 - 0.004 which equals 3.996. The answer i got was 3.006. Where did i go wrong with my calculation?(3 votes)
- Line up decimal points and write 0’s for missing digits.

4.000

0.004

Then subtract as you would with whole numbers. I believe you likely made error(s) in the borrowing step(s) in the subtraction.

Thousandths place: 10-4 = 6.

Then borrow 1 from the 400 hundredths on top to get 399 hundredths on top. This takes care of all the borrowing at once.

Hundredths place: 9-0 = 9.

Tenths place: 9-0 = 9.

Units place: 3-0 = 3.

So the answer is 3.996.

Note: because 0.004 is only a small fraction of a whole, 4-0.004 should be much closer to 4 than it is to 3. So the fact that your answer 3.006 is much closer to 3 than it is to 4 should tell you that something is not right.

Another note: there’s a nice subtraction shortcut when the top number ends with a group of 0’s (with the last digit being part of this group of 0’s). Subtract bottom digits from 9 except the last from 10, in the columns with the group of 0’s on top. Then borrow 1 in the column just to the left of these columns. This is the Vedic math principle “all from 9, last from 10”.

Have a blessed, wonderful day!(4 votes)

- When you multiply, divide,subtract, and add with decimals isn't it like adding or subtracting or multiplying or dividing a whole number(3 votes)
- how would you do this if it was in hundreds(2 votes)

## Video transcript

- [Instructor] What we're
gonna do in this video is begin to practice subtracting decimals. And we're gonna build up slowly, and in future videos we're gonna learn to do this faster and faster and doing it for more and more complex situations. So let's say we have 3/10 minus 2/10. What is this going to be? Well there's a bunch of
ways you could tackle it, and I encourage you to pause the video and try to do it on your own before I work through it with you. But I'm assuming you did
that, so let's do it together. You could view this as 3/10, and then we're going to take away 2/10. If I have three of something
and I take away two of them, well what am I gonna be left with? Well I'm going to be left with one, I'm going to be left with 1/10. And we can visualize this. Let me put a whole there, and this whole is divided into tenths, and we see that three of the
tenths are already highlighted. So these three green bars
you can visualize as 3/10. Now we want to take away 2.10. We want to take away,
we're gonna take away 1/10, and then we take away 2/10. And so what are we left with? Well we're going to be left
with this 1/10 right over here. That's the only tenth that
is left of these 3/10. Now let's build on that idea and try to tackle more complex situations. Let me delete this and this, and let's say we want to tackle 1.5, or one and 5/10, and from that we want to subtract 0.7, or 7/10. Pause the video and see if
you can figure this out. There's a couple of ways
you could think about this, and I'll tell you the way
that I do it in my head. You could view this as,
so let me rewrite this. You could view this as one plus 5/10, must 7/10, minus let me do
it in that same blue color. Minus 7/10. And so there's a couple of
ways that you could view it. You could view this as 10/10. One whole is 10/10, so this is 10/10 plus 5/10, minus 7/10. Minus 7/10. And so you could say this is 15/10. If you're doing it in your head you might get to this faster. You might say hey, 1.5, one and 5/10 is the same thing as 15/10, minus 7/10. Minus 7/10. So 15 of something minus seven of it, well 15 minus seven is going to be eight. So this is going to be equal to 8/10. The way I just did it I
just thought of everything in terms of tenths. Instead of thinking of it in one and 5/10, you could view this as if
you could somehow put a 15 in the tenth's place, and
instead call this zero ones, and 15/10, and then you subtract 7/10 from those 15/10 to get the 8/10, which would be 0.8, or 8/10. Now another way that you
could've thought about it, let's go back to this
step right over here, I could've said well look. I can think about what one
minus 7/10 is going to be. I could view this as one minus 7/10, and then I'm going to add 5/10 to that. Then I'm going to add 5/10 to that. One minus 7/10, one is 10/10. If I take 7 of them away,
I'm gonna be left with 3/10. So you could say that's
going to be 3/10 plus 5/10. Plus 5/10. Which is once again, it is equal to 8/10. Now another way that
you could tackle this, and once again, I'm showing
as many ways as possible just so you appreciate that
these are just different ways of tackling the same idea. Let's draw a number line here. Let's say this is zero,
and then one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. That is one. One, two, three, four, five. That is 1.5. We're gonna start at 1.5 right over here. That's 1.5. We're gonna take away 7/10. So one way that you might
do it is you say okay, we could take away, we
could take away 5/10, which would take us to one, and then we have to take
two more tenths away, which is gonna take us to 8/10, or 0.8. So the way that I just
thought about it just now is I said hey, this is the same thing as 1.5 minus 5/10. Minus 5/10. Minus 2/10. The reason why I broke
it up like this is look, okay 1.5, or one and 5/10 minus 5/10, that's pretty straightforward to compute. You could say that right over there is just going to be one. I'm taking away the 5/10. And then I have 2/10
leftover to take away. One minus these 2/10, and once again, you are left with 8/10. These are all perfectly legitimate ways to tackle this problem. And this is a way that many
people, including myself, would try to do it in their head.