ISEE Middle Level Math : How to subtract variables

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Middle Level Math

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Example Questions

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Example Question #143 : Operations

Subtract the following:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

To subtract variables, we will look at the variables like they are objects.  So, in the problem

we can think of the variable b as books.  So, we can write it like this:

We can read this as:  We have borrowed 7 books from the library.  We return 4 of those books to the library.  How many books do we have left?  We have 3 books.  So,

 

We can subtract variables the same way.  We get

Example Question #144 : Operations

Simplify the following:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When subtracting variables, we can look at the variables as objects.  So, in the problem

we can think of the variable as crackers.  So, we can write the problem like this:

Now, we can read the problem like this:  We have a plate with 10 crackers.  We go and eat 4 of the crackers.  How many crackers are left on the plate?  There are 6 crackers.  So,

 

We can subtract variables the same way:

Example Question #145 : Operations

Subtract the following:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When subtracting variables, we can look at the variables like objects.  So, in the problem

we can think of the variable b as brownies.  So, we can write the problem like this:

We can read it like this:  You see there is a plate that contains 10 brownies.  You love brownies, so you eat 2 of them.  How many brownies are left on the plate?  There are 8 brownies left.

We can subtract variables the same way.

Example Question #146 : Operations

Subtract the following:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

To subtract variables, we will look at the variables like they are objects.  So, in the problem

we can think of the variable c as cookies.  So, we can write it like this:

We can read it like this:  There is a plate with 10 cookies on it.  They smell delicious, so we decide to eat 4 cookies.  How many cookies are left on the plate?  There are 6 cookies left on the plate.

 

We can subtract variables the same way:

Example Question #147 : Operations

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Begin by distributing the subtraction through the group:

Next, change the double negative to a positive:

 

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