How to Compare Numbers with Math Symbols

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  • 0:05 Comparing Numbers
  • 0:35 Greater Than
  • 1:01 Less Than
  • 1:24 Equal To
  • 1:40 Examples
  • 2:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After viewing this lesson, you should know how to compare numbers. You will learn the different names for the math symbols that are used to compare numbers, as well as what they look like.

Comparing Numbers

In this lesson, we will talk about comparing numbers. When you are working with numbers, it is important to know when one number is larger or smaller than another. For example, this is useful when you are dividing because if the number you are dividing by is larger, then you know that you will get a decimal for your answer.

In math, we have symbols to note when one number is larger than, smaller than or equal to another. It is these symbols that you will be learning about and using in this lesson. Let's get going.

Greater Than

The first symbol we will discuss is the greater than symbol. This symbol looks like this: >. The larger number goes on the left side. If you look at the symbol, you will see that one side is larger than the other side. If the larger side is facing the left, then you are looking at the greater than symbol. To use it to compare two numbers, we write our larger number on the left side, like this: 10 > 8.

Less Than

Our next symbol is the less than symbol. This symbol looks like this: <. The smaller number goes on the left side. Looking at this symbol, you will see that now the larger side is facing the right, while the smaller side is facing the left. To use this symbol, we write our smaller number on the left side, like this: 8 < 10.

Equal To

The third and last symbol that we are discussing in this lesson is the equal to symbol. This symbol tells you when two numbers are equal to each other. It looks like this: =. You will use this symbol when the numbers on both sides are the same, like this: 10 = 10.

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