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Video: Solving Word Problems Involving the Subtraction of Two Decimal Numbers

Kathryn Kingham

In 2014, the global circulation of National Geographic was about 6.8 million magazines; in the same year, Time had a global circulation of about 3.3 million magazines. What was the difference between the global circulations of the two magazines?

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Video Transcript

In 2014, the global circulation of National Geographic was about 6.6 [6.8] million magazines. In that same year, Time had a global circulation of about 3.3 [3.3 million] magazines. What was the difference between the global circulations of the two magazines?

First, we’re given the global circulation of National Geographic. It is 6.8 million. The global circulation of Time magazine is 3.3 million. And we’re looking for the difference. The difference means we need to subtract. We need to subtract the 3.3 million magazines that Time magazine circulated from the 6.8 million that National Geographic circulated.

We’re now going to subtract with decimals. Starting all the way on the right, we’ll take three from eight. Eight minus three is five. What should we do with our decimal place? Bring it down exactly where it was in line. And from there, we take six minus three, which equals three. This gives us a difference of 3.5.

Not just 3.5 though, we have to remember our units. The difference in circulation was 3.5 million. National Geographic’s global circulation was 3.5 million more than Time magazine.