## The operation to perform:

301 - 253

#### Method used below: column subtracting, from right to left (traditional)

### Stack the numbers on top of each other.

#### The ones digits line up in the first column from the right.

#### The tens digits line up in the next column to the left.

#### And so on...

## Subtract column by column; start from the column on the right

### Subtract the digits in the ones column:

#### 1 - 3 = ?

#### The second digit is larger than the first.

Borrow from the next column to the left.

#### In this case we borrow across zero(s), a multiple step process:

#### Subtract 1 from the top digit in the column directly to the left.

But that digit is zero. You need to go further left.

#### Subtract 1 from the nearest column to the left with a non-zero top digit.

That is the column of the hundreds: 3 - 1 = 2.

Cross out the top digit you've borrowed 1 from: ~~3~~.

Write the answer above that digit: 2.

#### Cross out the zero(s) that you were going across to the left: ~~0~~.

Write a 9 above each one of the crossed out zeros.

Why? In fact we have subtracted 1 from 30: 30 - 1 = 29.

#### When borrowing, 1 ten = 10 ones.

Add 10 to the top digit in the column of the ones: 10 + 1 = ^{1}1.

#### After borrowing, the subtraction has become:

11 - 3 = 10 + 1 - 3 = 10 + 1 - 3 = 1 + (10 - 3) = 1 + 7 = 8.

8 is the ones digit.

Write it down at the base of the ones column.

### Subtract the digits in the tens column:

~~0~~ 9 - 5 = 4.

4 is the tens digit.

Write it down at the base of the tens column.

### Subtract the digits in the hundreds column:

~~3~~ 2 - 2 = 0.

0 is the hundreds digit.

Write it down at the base of the hundreds column.

### Leading zeros

#### When leading zeros occupy the most significant digits of a natural number, they could be left blank and the numeric value stays the same:

#### 048 = 48

## Final answer:

301 - 253 = 48