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Greater Than and Less Than Calculator

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Greater Than and Less Than Calculator

Greater Than and Less Than

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Greater Than and Less Than Calculator

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INTRO
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Remembering which inequality sign or symbol to use in a number comparison can be difficult, but we have an easy memory trick that can help!

See how the inequality symbol has a wide end and a narrow end?

The wide end opens to the greater value, and the narrow end points to the lesser value. If we describe the image below from left to right, it reads as all the Spider People are greater (or bigger) than just one Spider-Ham.

If we flip things around, we can still read it left to right, but now it reads as one Spider-Ham is less (or smaller) than all the Spider People.

We can apply the same concept to comparing numbers. The wide end of the sign should always open to the greater number.
When weโ€™re comparing numbers, we compare place values from left to right. The number that has the first place value with a bigger digit is farther from 0 on the number line.

The number farthest to the right on the number line is the greater number.

Remember that numbers farther to the right are greater by imagining a phone's signal bars - the bars get bigger and greater in strength as we go further to the right.

This also means that any positive number is greater than any negative number ๐Ÿ’ก.

Why is a bigger negative number less than a smaller negative number? ๐Ÿค”

Remember, numbers get greater as we move to the right on the number line.

For negative numbers, you can think of โ€œgreater thanโ€ as meaning โ€œwhich number is less negative (or more positive).โ€

Since is farther to the right than , is greater than .

Check out our
Calculator
or explore our
Lesson
and
Practice
sections to learn more about how to compare numbers, fractions, and decimals and test your understanding.

You can also use the Quick Links menu on the left to jump to a section of your choice.

You can also use the Quick Links dropdown above to jump to a section of your choice.

KEY STEPS
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How to Compare Numbers

Compare a
No steps here! Any positive number is greater than any negative number ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Step 1. Line up the decimal points.

Step 2. Compare digits from left to right.

  • If theyโ€™re the same, move to the next digit.
  • If theyโ€™re different, the bigger digit belongs to the number that is farther from 0.

Step 3. Imagine the two decimals on a number line.

The number farthest to the right is the greater number.

Step 4. Use the correct inequality sign.

The wide end of the sign should always open to the greater number.

Step 1. Check the denominators.

If they're the same, skip to Step 3. Otherwise, continue to Step 2.

Step 2. Make the denominators the same.

Multiply the numerator and denominator of fraction 1 by the denominator of fraction 2.
Multiply the numerator and denominator of fraction 2 by the denominator of fraction 1.

Step 3. Compare the digits of the numerators from left to right.

  • If theyโ€™re the same, move to the next digit.
  • If theyโ€™re different, the bigger digit belongs to the numerator of the fraction that is farther from 0.

Step 4. Imagine the two fractions on a number line.

The number farthest to the right is the greater number.

Step 5. Use the correct inequality sign.

The wide end of the sign should always open to the greater number.

Step 1. Convert the decimal to a fraction.

Just place the decimal over .

Step 2. Check the denominators.

If they're the same, skip to Step 3. Otherwise, continue to Step 2.

Step 3. Make the denominators the same.

Multiply the numerator and denominator of fraction 1 by the denominator of fraction 2.
Multiply the numerator and denominator of fraction 2 by the denominator of fraction 1.

Step 4. Compare the digits of the numerators from left to right.

  • If theyโ€™re the same, move to the next digit.
  • If theyโ€™re different, the bigger digit belongs to the numerator of the fraction that is farther from 0.

Step 5. Imagine the two fractions on a number line.

The number farthest to the right is the greater number.

Step 6. Use the correct inequality sign.

The wide end of the sign should always open to the greater number.
LESSON
โ€” Comparing Decimals
PRACTICE
โ€” Comparing Decimals
LESSON
โ€” Comparing Fractions
PRACTICE
โ€” Comparing Fractions
LESSON
โ€” Comparing Decimals to Fractions
PRACTICE
โ€” Comparing Decimals to Fractions
CONCLUSION
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