Matthew had four apples. He ate two of them. How many are left?
Let’s try and write our word problem as
a number sentence. We know that Matthew had four apples at
the start. We also know he ate two of them. To find out how many apples Matthew has
left, we need to take the two that he ate from the four he had to start with. This is a subtraction word problem. When we take objects from a group, it’s
the same as subtracting. What is four take away two? To find out, let’s take two counters
away from our group of four counters. One, two. How many are left? There are two counters left. If we take two from four, then we get
two. Four take away two is two. If Matthew has four apples and he eats
two, he will have two apples left.