Subtraction Of Number Bases That Are Not Binary

Subtraction of number bases that are not binary, or numbers from base 3 upward, follow the same steps as the subtraction of binary numbers.

In this lesson, you will learn the step-by-step method for the subtraction of number bases that are not binary.

BONUS: A link to practice questions on number bases is included at the end of this lesson.

Question on the subtraction of number bases that are not binary

Let’s take an example:

Question:

Solve 3435 – 245 

STEP 1.

Position the numbers

Arrange the numbers exactly how you would arrange them in your normal subtraction.

WORKINGSEXPLANATION
3435
+245
______
You can decide not to include the base beside the numbers but remember the base for subsequent steps below.

STEP 2.

Start your subtraction

Start from the back as you would do in your normal subtraction.

WORKINGSEXPLANATION
343
+24
_____
3 – 4 = it is impossible to remove 4 from 3, so we borrow.

ALERT! In subtraction of number bases, what you borrow takes the value of the base.
33 35
+2 4
______
____4
5 + 3 = 8
8 – 4 = 4

Since we are calculating in base 5, the 1 we borrowed became 5.

STEP 3.

Continue your subtraction

WORKINGSEXPLANATION
33 3
+2 4
______
__1 4
3 – 2 = 1

The answer 1 is smaller than our base 5, so there is no need for breaking it down.

STEP 4 — final answer

Finish your subtraction

WORKINGSEXPLANATION
333
+24
______
3 1 4
3 – nothing = 3

The answer 3 is smaller than our base 5, so there is no need for breaking it down.

FINAL ANSWER:

3435 – 245

= 3145

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Click the button to practice questions on number base.

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