3-Digit Subtraction Worksheets (Some Regrouping)

When young students are learning two- or three-digit subtraction, one of the concepts they'll encounter is regrouping, also known as borrowing and carrying, carry-over, or column math. This concept is an important one to learn, because it makes working with large numbers manageable when calculating math problems by hand. Regrouping with three digits can be especially challenging for young children because they might have to borrow from the tens or ones column. In other words, they might have to borrow and carry twice in a single problem.

The best way to learn to borrow and carry is through practice, and these free printable worksheets give students plenty of opportunities to do so.

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3-Digit Subtraction With Regrouping Pretest

3 Digit Subtraction with Regrouping Worksheets
Dr. Heinz Linke/E+/Getty Images

Print the PDF: ​Three-digit subtraction with regrouping pretest

This PDF contains a nice mix of problems, with some requiring students to borrow only once for some and twice for others. Use this worksheet as a pretest. Make enough copies so that each student will have his own. Announce to students that they will take a pretest to see what they know about three-digit subtraction with regrouping. Then hand out the worksheets and give students about 20 minutes to complete the problems.

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3-Digit Subtraction With Regrouping

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF: Three-digit subtraction with regrouping

If most of your students provided the correct answers for at least half of the problems on the previous worksheet, use this printable to review three-digit subtraction with regrouping as a class. If the students struggled with the previous worksheet, first review two-digit subtraction with regrouping. Before handing out this worksheet, show students how to do at least one of problems.

For example, problem No. 1 is 682 - 426. Explain to students that you cannot take 6—called the subtrahend, the bottom number in a subtraction problem, from 2—the minuend or top number. As a result, you have to borrow from the 8, leaving 7 as the minuend in the tens column. Tell students they will carry the 1 they borrowed and place it next to the 2 in the ones column—so they now have 12 as the minuend in the ones column. Tell the students that 12 - 6 = 6, which is the number they would place below the horizontal line in the ones column. In the tens column, they now have 7 - 2, which equals 5. In the hundreds column, explain that 6 - 4 = 2, so the answer to the problem would be 256.

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3-Digit Subtraction Practice Problems

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF: Three-digit subtraction practice problems

If students are struggling, let them use manipulatives—physical items such as gummy bears, poker chips, or small cookies—to help them work out these problems. For example, problem No. 2 in this PDF is 735 - 552. Use pennies as your manipulatives. Have students count five pennies, representing the minuend in the ones column.

Ask them to take away two pennies, representing the subtrahend in the ones column. This will yield three, so have students write 3 at the bottom of the ones column. Now have them count out three pennies, representing the minuend in the tens column. Ask them to take away five pennies. Hopefully, they will tell you they cannot. Tell them that they will need to borrow from the 7, the minuend in the hundreds column, making it 6.

They will then carry the 1 to the tens column and insert it before the 3, making that top number 13. Explain that 13 minus 5 equals 8. Have students write 8 at the bottom of the tens column. Lastly, they will subtract 5 from 6, yielding 1 as the answer in the tens column, giving a final answer to the problem of 183.

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Base 10 Blocks

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF: Base 10 blocks

To further cement the concept in students' minds, use base 10 blocks, manipulative sets that will help them learn place value and regrouping with blocks and flats in various colors, such as small yellow or green cubes (for ones), blue rods (for tens), and orange flats (featuring 100-block squares). Show students with this and the following worksheet how to use the base 10 blocks to quickly solve three-digit subtraction problems with regrouping.

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More Base 10 Block Practice

Subtraction Worksheet
D. Russell

Print the PDF: More base 10 block practice

Use this worksheet to demonstrate how to use base 10 blocks. For example, problem No. 1 is 294 - 158. Use green cubes for ones, blue bars (which contain 10 blocks) for 10s, and a 100 flat for the hundreds place. Have students count out four green cubes, representing the minuend in the ones column.

Ask them if they can take eight blocks from four. When they say no, have them count out nine blue (10-block) bars, representing the minuend in the tens column. Tell them to borrow one blue bar from the tens column and carry it over to the ones column. Have them place the blue bar in front of the four green cubes, and then have them count the total cubes in the blue bar and the green cubes; they should get 14, which when you subtract eight, yields six.

Have them place the 6 at the bottom of the ones column. They now have eight blue bars in the tens column; have the students take away five to yield the number 3. Have them write 3 at the bottom of the tens column. The hundreds column is easy: 2 - 1 = 1, yielding an answer for the problem of 136.

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3-Digit Subtraction Homework

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF: Three-digit subtraction homework

Now that the students have had a chance to practice three-digit subtraction, use this worksheet as a homework assignment. Tell the students that they can use manipulatives they have at home, such as pennies, or—if you're brave—send students home with base 10 block sets that they can use to complete their homework.

Remind students that not all problems on the worksheet will require regrouping. For example, in problem No. 1, which is 296 - 43, tell them that you can take 3 from 6 in the ones column, leaving you with the number 3 at the bottom of that column. You can also take 4 from 9 in the tens column, yielding the number 5. Tell students that they would simply drop the minuend in the hundreds column to the answer space (below the horizontal line) since it has no subtrahend, yielding a final answer of 253.

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Worksheet 7: In-Class Group Assigment

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF: In-class group assignment

Use this printable to go over all the listed subtraction problems as a whole-class group assignment. Have students come up to the whiteboard or smartboard one at a time to solve each problem. Have base 10 blocks and other manipulatives available to help them solve the problems.

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3-Digit Subtraction Group Work

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF: Three-digit subtraction group work

This worksheet contains several problems that require no or minimal regrouping, so it provides an opportunity to have students work together. Divide students into groups of four or five. Tell them they have 20 minutes to solve the problems. Ensure that each group has access to manipulatives, both base 10 blocks and other general manipulatives, such as small wrapped pieces of candy. Bonus: Tell the students that the group that finishes the problems first (and correctly) gets to eat some of the candy

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Working With Zero

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF:  Working with zero

Several of the problems in this worksheet contain one or more zeroes, either as the minuend or subtrahend. Working with zero can often be a challenge to students, but it needn't be daunting to them. For example, the fourth problem is 894 - 200. Remind students that any number minus zero is that number. So 4 - 0 is still four, and  9 - 0 is still nine. Problem No. 1, which is 890 - 454, is a bit trickier since the zero is the minuend in the ones column. But this problem only requires simple borrowing and carrying, as students learned to do in the previous worksheets. Tell students that to do the problem, they need to borrow 1 from the 9 in the tens column and carry that digit to the ones column, making the minuend 10, and as a result, 10 - 4 = 6.

Subtraction Worksheet
D.Russell

Print the PDF: ​Three-digit subtraction summative test

Summative tests, or assessments, help you determine whether students have learned what they were expected to learn or at least to what degree they learned it. Give this worksheet to students as a summative test. Tell them they are to work individually to solve the problems. It's up to you if you want to allow students to use base 10 blocks and other manipulatives. If you see from the assessment results that students are still struggling, review three-digit subtraction with regrouping by having them repeat some or all of the previous worksheets. More »