How much less than 961 is 278?
Let’s say here is our 961 and here is our 278. This yellow space is how much less. The yellow space is our missing value. To find it, we’ll take the total space, 961, and we’ll subtract the piece we know, 278, to tell us how much less. 961 minus 278 looks like this.
Starting in the units place, we realize we can’t subtract eight from one. So we borrow from our tens place. We’ll now have five tens and 11 ones. 11 minus eight equals three.
Moving on to the tens place, we can’t subtract seven from five. We’ll need to borrow again, this time from our hundreds place, leaving us with eight hundreds and 15 tens. 15 minus seven equals eight. And in the hundreds place, eight minus two equals six. 961 minus 278 equals 683. And that tells us that 278 is 683 less than 961.