Subtracting using the column method can be a bit daunting for students - the concept of borrowing is a hard one to grasp for some.

If you follow these simple steps, you should manage it every time:

1) Line up your numbers using place value

2) Start subtracting from the right

3) If the bottom number is larger than the top number, you need to borrow from the next column

**Example 1: 47 - 32 (this one doesn't involve any borrowing)**

47 |

- 32 |

**Start at the units** (7 - 2 = 5)

47 |

- 32 |

5 |

**Move onto the tens** (4 - 3 = 1)

47 |

- 32 |

15 |

**Example 2: 843 - 269 **

843 |

- 269 |

**Start at the units **

You can't do 3 - 9 without getting a negative so we need to borrow from the tens

We now have to do 13 - 9 = 4

8 3^{1}3 |

- 2 6 9 |

We now have to do 13 - 9 = 4

8 3^{1}3 |

- 2 6 9 |

4 |

**Move onto the tens**

Once again we cannot do 3 - 6 so we must borrow, this time from the hundreds

7^{1}3^{1}3 |

- 2 6 9 |

4 |

We can now complete the sum 13 - 6 = 7

7^{1}3^{1}3 |

- 2 6 9 |

7 4 |

**Our final step is to subtract the hundreds**

7^{1}3^{1}3 |

- 2 6 9 |

5 7 4 |