Math Doubts

Subtraction of Algebraic Terms

A mathematical operation of subtracting any two algebraic terms is called the subtraction of algebraic terms.


In algebraic mathematics, two algebraic terms are connected by a minus sign to find the difference between them. Due to the classification of the algebraic terms, there are two special cases for subtracting the algebraic terms. So, it is very important to learn them to subtract any algebraic term from another.

Subtracting the Like terms

The like algebraic terms are subtracted directly because of their similarity. They actually have the similarity due to the same literal coefficient and it permits them to perform subtraction. The difference of any two like algebraic terms is also an algebraic term in the same form.


$(1) \,\,\,$ $7b-2b = 5b$

$(2) \,\,\,$ $8p^2q^2r-10p^2q^2r = -2p^2q^2r$

$(3) \,\,\,$ $5xy-4xy = xy$

Subtracting the Unlike terms

The unlike algebraic terms cannot be subtracted as an algebraic term because of their dissimilarity. In fact, they have different literal coefficients and it fails to subtract them. However, the difference of any two unlike algebraic terms is displayed as an expression by simply connecting them by a minus sign.


$(1) \,\,\,$ $2a-3b$

$(2) \,\,\,$ $h-9h^2$

$(3) \,\,\,$ $7xy-12yz$

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