**Rewriting a Subtraction Problem as an Addition Problem**

Sometimes in algebra it is easier to think of a subtraction problem as an addition problem. One advantage to this is that you can rearrange the terms in an addition problem but not a subtraction problem: 3 + 4 = 4 + 3 but 4 – 3 ≠ 3 – 4. The minus sign can be replaced with a plus sign if you change the sign of the number following it: 4 – 3 = 4 +(–3). The parentheses are used to show that the sign in front of the 3 is a negative sign and not a minus sign.

**Examples**

–82 – 14 = –82 +(–14) 20 –(–6) = 20 + 6 x – *y* = *x* +(–y)

**Rewriting a Subtraction Problem as an Addition Problem Practice Problems**

**Practice**

Rewrite as an addition problem.

1. 8 – 5

2. – 29 – 4

3. – 6 – (–10)

4. 15 – *x*

5. 40 – 85

6. *y* – 37

7. – *x* –(–14)

8. –x – 9

**Solutions**

1. 8 – 5 = 8 +(–5)

2. –29 – 4 = –29 +(–4)

3. –6 – (–10) = –6 + 10

4. 15 – *x* = 15 +(–x)

5. 40 – 85 = 40 +(–85)

6. *y* – 37 = *y* +(–37)

7. –x –(–14) = –x + 14

8. –x – 9 = – *x* +(–9)

Practice problems for this concept can be found at: Algebra: Negative Numbers Test.

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