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Subtraction is a mathematical process that describes the removal of objects from an array. The minus sign,, represents subtraction. In the adjacent picture, for example, there are 5 2 apples—that is, 5 apples with 2 removed, for a total of 3 apples. As a consequence, the difference between 5 and 2 is 3, or 5 2 = 3. Subtraction can refer to eliminating or decreasing physical and abstract quantities using various objects such as negative numbers, fractions, irrational numbers, vectors, decimals, functions, and matrices, though it is most commonly associated with natural numbers in arithmetic.