[Arithmetic Operators]


Subtraction is one of the four primary arithmetic operations. The operator - (minus) operates on two operands to produce the difference of the second from the first.


difference = operand1 - operand2;


difference: variable. Allowed data types: intfloatdoublebyteshortlong.
operand1: variable or constant. Allowed data types: intfloatdoublebyteshortlong.
operand2: variable or constant. Allowed data types: intfloatdoublebyteshortlong.

Example Code

int a = 5;
int b = 10;
int c = 0;
c = a - b;  // the variable 'c' gets a value of -5 after this statement is executed


  1. The subtraction operation can overflow if the result is smaller than that which can be stored in the data type (e.g. subtracting 1 from an integer with the value -32,768 gives 32,767).
  2. If one of the numbers (operands) are of the type float or of type double, floating point math will be used for the calculation.
  3. If the operands are of float / double data type and the variable that stores the difference is an integer, then only the integral part is stored and the fractional part of the number is lost.
float a = 5.5;
float b = 6.6;
int c = 0;
c = a - b;  // the variable 'c' stores a value of -1 only as opposed to the expected difference of -1.1

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The text of the 86Duino reference is a modification of the Arduino reference and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Code samples in the reference are released into the public domain.

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