# Subtracting integers word problems

Here are four great examples about subtracting integers word problems.

Problem #1:

The record high temperature for Massachusetts is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The record low is -18 degrees Fahrenheit. What is the difference between high and low?

Solution

The problem has 1 important component. It is the phrase "difference between high and low."

Difference between high and low is the same as subtracting the smaller number from the bigger number.

104 - -18 = 104 + 18 = 122

The difference between high and low is 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Problem #2:

Sylvia checked the balance in her bank account early in the morning and saw that she had 98 dollars. In the afternoon, she noticed that there was an overdraft of 6 dollars in the account for unpaid bills. How much were the unpaid bills?

Solution

The problem has 1 important component. It is the word "Overdraft."

Overdraft occurs when the bank gives you money to cover amount you did not have at the time the bills were paid. In this case, what you did not have is 6 dollars. Since the bank gave it to you, you owe it to the bank. Therefore, you owe 6 dollars to the bank and this can be expressed as -6.

The amount of unpaid bills is the difference between what you had that morning (98) and what you have this afternoon (-6).

98 - -6 = 98 + 6 = 104 dollars

The amount of unpaid bills is 104 dollars

Problem #3:

You are 5 dollars in debt. You borrow 12 dollars more. What is the total amount of your debt?

Solution

The problem has 2 important components shown in bold below.

You are 5 dollars in debt. You borrow 12 dollars more. What is the total amount of your debt?

5 dollars in debt can be represented by -5

Borrow 12 more can be represented by - 12

We get -5 - 12 = -5 + -12 = -17

The amount of your debt is 17 dollars.

Problem #4:

An airplane takes off and then climbs 2500 feet. After 20 minutes, the airplane descends 150 feet.  What is the airplane's current height?

Solution

The problem has 2 important components shown in bold below.

Steve An airplane takes off and then climbs 2500 feet. After 20 minutes, the airplane descends 150 feet.  What is the airplane's current height?

Climbs 2500 feet can be represented with +2500

Descends 150 feet can be represented with - 150

We get +2500 - 150 = +2500 + -150 = 2350

The airplane is now at a height of 2350 feet.

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