Operation under which each pair of numbers, called the terms of the subtraction, is made to correspond to a new number called the difference of these terms.

We can define a subtraction operation in different sets such as number sets, relationship sets, geometric figure sets, etc.

The inverse operation of subtraction is addition.

### Symbol

The symbol for subtraction is – which is read as: “minus”.

### Properties

- Subtraction is not always defined in the set of whole numbers.
- In fact: 8 – 12 = –4, which is not a whole number.
- Subtraction is not a commutative operation: 5 – 8 ≠ 8 – 5.

### Example

Consider this subtraction: 84 – 45 = 39.

The numbers 84 and 45 are the terms of the subtraction.

The number 39 is the difference.

84 |
– | 45 |
= | 39 |

term | ↑ | term | ↑ | difference |

minus | is equal to |