After the addition of natural numbers, the next step is the subtraction of natural numbers. The word subtraction means to take out a number from another number. Sometimes subtraction can result in a negative number but in the case of natural numbers, you won't encounter such a situation. The reason is that negative numbers are not natural numbers hence even if you get a question which is resulting in a negative number, you will simply say it is not the case of natural number because you are studying subtraction in natural numbers. This is how you subtract two numbers to obtain a new number.

a - b = c

Where, a, b, and c are natural numbers. The terms involved in a subtraction are called: the minuend, a, and the subtrahend, b. The result, c, is called the difference.

For example, you have fifteen pencils and your friend asked for a pencil for a test. You gave him/her a pencil and now how many pencils you have? That would be 15 - 1 = 14, hence you will have fourteen pencils still left. Let's make a more complex example, Hannah has 1400 beads, out of those 1400 beads, she has 500 black beads and the rest are white beads. How many white beads does Hannah have? The problem is simple, it asked to you find the total number of white beads, you need to subtract the number of black beads from the total beads like this 1400 - 500 which will result in 900 beads. Since the question said that the rest beads are white beads hence we can declare that 900 beads are white beads.

Properties of the Subtraction of Natural Numbers

There are some properties of subtraction of natural numbers. Below are all the properties of subtraction of natural numbers.

Property No.1: No Closure

This property tells that if you subtract two natural numbers this will not result in a new natural number every time. In simple words, the result of subtracting two natural numbers is not always another natural number.

2 - 5 \notin N

Property No.2: No Commutative

When you are subtracting two natural numbers, the order does affect the answer.

a - b \neq b - a

5 -2 \neq 2 - 5


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