2. Subtraction word problems for 2nd grade

These subtraction word problems are great for ages 7 and older who are looking to improve their subtracting skills.


Penelope had 375 jelly beans to decorate her gingerbread house. As she was building, she ate 28 of the jelly beans. How many jelly beans did she have left to decorate her house with?

  • Answer

    347

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of jelly beans from the larger number of jelly beans:
    375 - 28
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 375 and 28:
    375 - 28 = 347


Darrel needed 944 logs to finish building his cabin. He collected 80 logs. How many logs does he still need to collect?

  • Answer

    864

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of logs from the larger number of logs:
    944 - 80
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 944 and 80:
    944 - 80 = 864


Joanne had $792 in her purse before her car broke her down. She had to spend $78 to pay the towing company. How much money does Joanne have left in her purse?

  • Answer

    $714

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of money from the larger number of money:
    $792 - $78
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between $792 and $78:
    $792 - $78 = $714


In the morning, a secretary had 683 paperclips but by the end of the day she only had 75. How many paperclips did the secretary use that day?

  • Answer

    608

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of paper clips from the larger number of paper clips:
    683 - 75
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 683 and 75:
    683 - 75 = 608


A couple went on a camping trip. They packed 463 logs for their fire. They used 59 logs on the first day. How many logs do they have left for the rest of their trip?

  • Answer

    404

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of logs from the larger number of logs:
    463 - 59
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 463 and 59:
    463 - 59 = 404


A car dealer has 391 old cars. He sells 24 cars. How many cars are now in the car dealership?

  • Answer

    367

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of cars from the larger number of cars:
    391 - 24
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 391 and 24:
    391 - 24 = 367


To fill an order, the factory had to dye 458 metres of fabric. They have already dyed 52 metres. How many metres of fabric does the factory still need dye for that order?

  • Answer

    406

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of metres from the larger number of metres:
    458 - 52
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 458 and 52:
    458 - 52 = 406


Zelda and Jeffrey needed to drive 280km from Rome to Florence. After 73km they stopped for lunch. How much further do they still need to drive to get to Florence?

  • Answer

    207

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of kilometres from the larger number of kilometres:
    280 - 73
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 280 and 73:
    280 - 73 = 207


Rosette had 198 Legos to build a Lego house. She only needed to use 63 Legos. How many Legos does Rosette have left?

  • Answer

    135

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of Legos from the larger number of Legos:
    198 - 63
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 198 and 63:
    198 - 63 = 135


Vianne made 159 grams of strawberry jam. She bottled and sold 72 grams of jam. How many grams does Vianne have remaining?

  • Answer

    87

  • Explanation

    First write the number sentence. Subtract the smaller number of grams from the larger number of grams:
    159 - 72
    Now complete the number sentence by finding the difference between 159 and 72:
    159 - 72 = 87