Subtraction is an arithmetic operation that represents the operation of removing objects from a collection. The result of a subtraction is called a difference. Subtraction is signified by the minus sign, −. For example, in the adjacent picture, there are 5 − 2 apples—meaning 5 apples with 2 taken away, resulting in a total of 3 apples. Therefore, the difference of 5 and 2 is 3, that is, 5 − 2 = 3. While primarily associated with natural numbers in arithmetic, subtraction can also represent removing or decreasing physical and abstract quantities using different kinds of objects including negative numbers, fractions, irrational numbers, vectors, decimals, functions, and matrices. wikipedia
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