# Thread: I can't Subtract!

1. ## I can't Subtract!

Yeah I'm serious I can't actually subtract lol...

I always use the column method.

Now if I get a problem like this

1856 -
3967

OK I got answer 3889 but calculator got -2111

this is how I do it.

I first check and make sure that the top numbers are bigger than the bottom if now start borrowing, then subtract. However I always get the wrong answer

How shall I do this?

2. ## Re: I can't Subtract!

1856 - 3967 = -(3967 - 1856)

do the subtraction inside the ( ) , then change the sign

3. ## Re: I can't Subtract!

hi Mathsworld

try to do it like this:

1856-3967=-(3967-1856)

now subtract normally and just add a minus sign in front.

4. ## Re: I can't Subtract!

oh ok , so you just put the bigger number on top and subtract then add the minus sign..

5. ## Re: I can't Subtract!

that's right.