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Video: Determining an Unknown Whole Number in a Subtraction Equation

Tim Burnham

Find the missing number. _ − 3 = 2

00:39

Video Transcript

Find the missing number. Something take away three equals two.

Let’s imagine this on a number line. We’ve ended up at two, so this is our finishing position. And we took away three in order to get there. So we’ve taken three steps to the left on the number line in order to reach two. And where does that mean that we started? Well we must have started at five. So that when we take away three steps to the left, we end up at two.

So our answer is, the missing number is, five.