Subtracting on a Number Line
(KS2, Year 4)

The Lesson

A number line can be used to subtract numbers.

Imagine we wanted to find 7 − 3.

How to Subtract on a Number Line

Subtracting on a number line is easy.


Use a number line to find 7 − 3.



Find 7 on the number line.
7 − 3


Move 3 to the left along the number line.
7 − 3


Read off the number you have reached.


7 − 3 = 4

Lesson Slides

The slider below shows another real example of how to subtract on a number line. Open the slider in a new tab

Top Tip

To Subtract, Go Left

Subtracting means going left on a number line.

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See Also

Addition basics Long addition How to subtract on a number line Subtraction basics Long subtraction Multiplication basics Long multiplication Long multiplication with decimals A closer look at multiplication Division basics Long division Long division with remainder Long division with decimals What is place value?