Mathematics: Comparing Numbers
It is good to know if one number is bigger, smaller or the same as another number!
We use these signs to compare numbers:
|If two values are equal, we use the “equals” sign||example: 2+2 = 4|
|But if one value is smaller than another, we can use a “less than” sign.||example: 3 < 5|
|And if one value is bigger than another, we can use a “greater than” sign||example: 9 > 6|
Less Than and Greater Than
The “less than” sign and the “greater than” sign look like a “V” on its side, don’t they?
To remember which way around the “<” and “>” signs go, just remember:
- BIG > small
- small < BIG
The “small” end always points to the smaller number, like this:
Greater Than Symbol: BIG > small
10 > 5
“10 is greater than 5”
10 > 5
“10 is greater than 5″
Or the other way around:
5 < 10
“5 is less than 10″
Do you see how the symbol “points at” the smaller value?
… Or Equal To …
Sometimes you know that a value is smaller, but may also be equal to!
|Example, a jug can hold up to 4 cups of water.So how much water is in it?|
Until you measure it, all you can say is “less than or equal to” 4 cups.
To show this, we add an extra line at the bottom of the “less than” or “greater than” symbol like this:
The “less than or equal to” sign:
The “greater than or equal to” sign:
As well as the familiar equals sign (=) it is also very useful to show if something is not equal to (≠) greater than (>) or less than (<)
These are the important signs to know:
When two values are equal
|example: 2+2 = 4|
When two values are definitely not equal
|example: 2+2 ≠ 9|
But when one value is smaller than another
|example: 3 < 5|
And when one value is bigger than another
|example: 9 > 6|
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