Video: Deciding Whether to Add or Subtract to Solve Word Problems with Additional Information

There were 31 tomatoes and 43 strawberries growing in Emma’s garden. She picked 8 tomatoes and 11 strawberries when they ripened. Find the equation that shows how many strawberries are still growing in her garden.

02:50

Video Transcript

There were 31 tomatoes and 43 strawberries growing in Emma’s garden. She picked eight tomatoes and 11 strawberries when they ripened. Find the equation that shows how many strawberries are still growing in her garden. Is it 31 subtract 11 equals 20, 31 subtract eight equals 23, 43 subtract 11 equals 32, 43 subtract 11 equals 31, or 43 subtract eight equals 35?

There’s a lot of information in this word problem. We’re being asked to work out how many strawberries are still growing in Emma’s garden after she picks the ripe ones. Emma had 43 strawberries in her garden. This is the whole amount or the number of strawberries she had to begin with. We’re also told that emma picked 11 strawberries, but we’re not told how many strawberries she has left. Our part–whole model helps us to think about the subtraction equation. We know Emma had 43 strawberries to begin with, and we also know that she picked 11 ripe strawberries.

So to find out how many strawberries she has left in her garden, we need to subtract the 11 that she picked from the 43 she had to begin with. We need to calculate 43 subtract 11. This is a tricky question because two of the equations show 43 subtract 11. Is 43 subtract 11 32 or 31? If we start at 43, we need to count back 11. 43 subtract 10 gives us 33. And because we’re subtracting 11, we need to subtract one more. 10 and one more is 11. One less than 33 is 32. 43 subtract 10 is 33. 33 subtract one is 32. So 43 subtract 11 equals 32. The equation which shows how many strawberries are still growing in Emma’s garden is 43 subtract 11 equals 32.

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