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### Course: Arithmetic (all content)>Unit 1

Lesson 3: Comparing 2-digit numbers

# Greater than and less than symbols

This video teaches comparing numbers using equal, greater than, and less than symbols. It clarifies the equal sign's meaning and demonstrates using comparison symbols with numbers and expressions. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• how can u always remember what sign means what? I always forget :(((
• Here's a trick that's sometimes used. Think of the inequality as a hungry alligator. He always wants to eat the larger number.
4 < 10: The alligator is eating the 10. So, the is 4 is less than 10.
10 > 4: This is 10 is greater than 4

Hope this helps.
• thanks but how do we rate decimals least to greatest?
• You always start from the number that is the farthest left and then continue to the right until one number is different.

Example:

Arrange these numbers from least to greatest:
23.476, 19.894, 23.451

So start with the number that is farthest left. In this case that number is in the tens column.
23.476 has 2 tens, 19.894 has 1 ten, and 23.451 has 2 tens.
This means that 19.894 is smaller than the other numbers.

Now you move on to the ones column for the remaining numbers.
23.476 has 3 ones and 23.451 has 3 ones.
Since they both have an equal amount of ones you need to go further.

Now we look at the first decimal place.
23.476 has 4 tenths and 23.451 has 4 tenths.
Since they both have an equal amount of tenths you need to continue.

Now we look at the second decimal place.
23.476 has 7 hundredths and 23.451 has 5 hundredths.
This means that 23.451 is smaller than 23.476.

So the answer from least to greatest is:
19.894, 23.451, 23.476
• What is quantity?
• "Quantity" can refer simply to the number of items, or it might be some other value. It is not necessarily the "number" of things, but might instead refer to an amount.

For example, if you were asked to measure out a quantity of corn, you would not (unless you were very silly and had a lot of time on your hands!) count out individual grains of corn. Instead, your quantity would probably be measured in terms of mass (eg. 25 kg) or volume (eg. 1 cubic metre).

Counting grains is possible but impractical.

In other instances, counting individual particles might be virtually impossible (eg. measuring sand) or wholly impossible, such as when measuring a liquid.
• For remembering the which sign means greater than and which sign mean less than, couldn't we remember it in way that that can make it more meaningful? When I was learning this before this site even existed, we learned that the greater than and less than sigh is like the smaller eating the larger. That how people like me learned it.
• The alligator always want to eat the bigger number. So the opening should face toward the bigger number.
• how do u compare =numbers
• You don't really compare = numbers since 5 isn't bigger than 5 or less than 5. Two equal numbers aren't bigger or smaller than themselves, they are equal
Hope this helps!
(1 vote)
• Why didn't you go into greater/less than or equal to symbols? What are those even for?
• He might have not included that because it is in a later lesson. The greater and less symbols are the algebraic symbols to show greater and less numbers.
• Does a number that is both equal and greater than exist? (Sorry if that's confusing)
• When you have the greater than symbol with the equal, it means "greater than OR equal to".
Examples:
5 >= 2 would be true as 5 is larger than 2
2 >= 2 would be true as 2 = 2
0 >= 2 would be false as 0 is neither greater than 2 nor is it equal to 2.

Hope this help.s
• i am alittle confused on iniquatilites ? Which one is which ?
• A trick you can use is the pretend the inequality is the mouth of a hungry alligator. He only wants to eat the biggest number. So, his open mouth always faces the larger number.

5 > 2: 5 is larger, so the open mouth faces the 5. This is read as "5 is greater than 2"

5 ≥ 2: Again the open mouth faces the 5. But, this time the little line underneath is read as "5 is greater than or equal to 2"

1 < 4: 4 is larger, so the open mouth faces the 4. We're started with the smaller number 1st. So, this is read as "1 is less than 4"
1 ≤ 4: Again, the open mouth faces the 4. The line underneath means this is read as "1 is less than or equal to 4"

Hope this helps.