# Subtracting Integers

Subtraction can be done by adding the opposite. Let's take a look at a simple example to see how the two are related.

**Example:**

**5 - 3**

We can write this as 5 + (-3). Both 5 -3 and 5 + (-3) = 2. When we subtract a positive number, we move to the left on the number line. This is the same thing that happens when we add a negative number.

We can use this to help us subtract negatives.

**Example:**

**6 - (-9)**

Just like in the example above, we can change this question to adding the opposite.

6 - (-9) becomes 6 + 9 = 15. You might be wondering how we can subtract and end up with a larger number than we started with. Let's look at the number line. When we subtracted a positive number we moved to the left. So when we subtract a negative number we need to move to the right.

In the number line, you can see that when a negative number is being subtracted, we actually move towards the larger numbers on the number line. Drawing out the number line can be a little tedious every time you go to subtract. So we can use a little saying to help us remember how it works.

**Keep Change Change or KCC**

This means to KEEP the first number the same. CHANGE the subtracting to adding. Then CHANGE the sign of the second number.

Check it out:

**17 - (-5)**

Keep the 17. Change the minus to a plus. Change the -5 to a positive 5.

Here is another:

**-18 - 5**

Keep the -18. Change the minus to a plus. Change the positive 5 to a -5.

One last example:

**-23 - (-11)**

Keep the -23. Change the minus to a plus. Change the negative 11 to a positive 11.

From these examples, we can see that subtracting with integers is the same as adding the opposite. We can solve using a number line or by using the saying "Keep, Change, Change" to help us solve. It is important to remember that we can subtract a negative and end up with a larger number than we started with.

**Related Links:**

Math

Fractions

Factors