Video: Writing Subtraction Expressions for Word Problems Represented by Pictures

8 children are at a party, but then 2 have to leave. Which of these tells you how many children are left at the party? [A] 8 + 2 [B] 6 + 2 [C] 8 −2

02:22

Video Transcript

Eight children are at a party, but then two have to leave. Which of these tells you how many children are left at the party? Eight plus two, six plus two, or eight take away two.

If we look at our three possible answers in this word problem, we can see that two of them have addition symbols, where we need to add to find the answer. And one that has a subtraction symbol, where we need to take away to find the answer. But which of these is correct? Do we need to add to find the answer? Or do we need to take away?

Let’s read the word problem more carefully to try to find out. The first thing we’re told is that eight children are at a party. And if we count the children in the picture, we can see that there are eight of them. But the next piece of information we’re told is that two of the children have to leave. Must be these two children here because they’re separated from the rest.

Now, our question asks us to find a way to show how many children are left at the party. So we start off with eight children at the party. Now, if two of them leave, is the number eight going to get bigger or smaller? Well, because two children have left the party, we know that there’ll be less than eight children in the party. The number is going to get smaller. This means this is a subtraction question.

Now, out of our three possible answers, only one of them is a subtraction. So we know the answer must be eight take away two. Let’s use this and see whether it does tell us how many children are left at the party. Eight take away two should leave us with one, two, three, four, five, six children left at the party. And if we count the children in the picture just to check, we can see that there are six children left at the party.

When we need to find how much of something is left, we often have to subtract to get there. So the expression that tells us how many children are left at the party is eight take away two.

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