Loading please wait

The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Try an activity or get started for free

Use Addition and Subtraction to Solve Two-Step Word Problems

In this worksheet, students will solve two-step word problems using addition and subtraction.

'Use Addition and Subtraction to Solve Two-Step Word Problems' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 4 Maths worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Number: Addition and Subtraction

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Correct Methods to Problem Solve

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

In this activity, we are going to answer word problems involving addition and subtraction. 


In most questions, we'll have to do more than one calculation, so reading the question carefully is very important!


It can be useful to highlight/underline important information when answering word problems.

Highlighting helps us to focus on the bits of information we are going to need.




Chelsea is saving up to buy a new laptop.


girl working on a laptop


She receives £100 birthday money and saves £65 of her pocket money.

The laptop is on offer at £450.00


How much more money does Chelsea need in order to buy the laptop?

Can you see how the important information is highlighted?



We need to identify the key information.

Chelsea receives a total of £165 (£100 + £65)

The laptop costs £450


The question asks us to find how much more money Chelsea needs, so we need to find the difference, which means subtraction.

£450 - £165 = £285

Chelsea needs another £285


girl thinking


Column addition and subtraction would work well for these calculations. 

We must ensure we put each digit in the correct column.


Now let's look at another example.

There is quite a lot of information here, so the important stuff is highlighted for us.  

Remember​ to read the question carefully and think about what it is asking us to do.




Balloons cost £3.00 each 

A balloon seller starts the day with 300 balloons.

By lunchtime, he has sold 70 balloons.

During lunchtime, he blows up another 40 balloons.

He only sells 10 in the afternoon.

How many balloons does he have at the end of the day?



First, we can work out how many balloons are sold 70 + 10 = 80

Subtract this from the starting number 300 - 80 = 220

Then add the number of balloons blown up 220 + 40 = 260

At the end of the day he has 260 balloons.


We didn't need to use the information about the cost of the balloons in this question.


Now, why don't you have a go at some questions like these? 


happy girl


Remember to read the question carefully and highlight the important information!

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started

Try an activity or get started for free

  • National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted / Parents
    National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted
  • Private-Tutoring-WINNER-EducationInvestor-Awards / Parents
    Winner - Private Tutoring
  • Bett Awards Finalist / Parents
  • Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents
    Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents