# Subtraction of Literals

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If we are asked to subtract 5 from 6, then we write 6 – 5.

(

**whatever number is there after from that we have to write first**). When we are asked to subtract a number say 2 from a literal a, we write

a – 2 and is read as ‘a minus 3’. Note that a – 3 can also be read as ‘3 less than a literal number a’.

Similarly, if b is subtracted from a, we write a – b. We can also read a – b as ‘b less than a’.

If a is subtracted from b, then we write b – a. (a – b) – c means that b is subtracted from a and then c is to be subtracted from the result. We can also say that c is subtracted from the difference of b from a.

It should be noted that Commutativity and Associativity of subtraction are not true for literals as they are not true for numbers.

**Examples :**

Write each of the following phrases using numbers, literals and the basic operation of subtraction:

(i) 4 less than a literal y

**Solution:**y - 4

(ii) Decrease b by 6

**Solution:**b - 6

(iii) Subtract 3 from c

**Solution:**c - 3

(iv) y less than the sum of z and 7

**Solution:**y - (z + 7 )

(v) Decrease the sum of x and y by z

**Solution:**(x + y) - z

(vi) a is diminished by 2

**Solution:**a - 2

(vii) a less 3

**Solution:**a - 3

(viii) Decrease c by 8

**Solution:**c - 8

(ix) Subtract 5 from d

**Solution:**d - 5

(x) 5 is diminished by d

**Solution:**5 - d

**Introduction to Algebra**

• Addition of Literals

• Subtraction of Literals

• Multiplication of Literals

• Division of Literals

• Constants and Variables

• Coefficient

• Addition of Literals

• Subtraction of Literals

• Multiplication of Literals

• Division of Literals

• Constants and Variables

• Coefficient

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