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Greater than Less than



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In this section, we will continue to learn about whole numbers. Specifically, we will focus on the concept of greater than > and less than <. The greater than symbol: > is used to imply that a given number is greater than or larger than another. The less than symbol: < is used to imply that a given number is less than or smaller than another. When we use an inequality symbol, we place our symbol between two numbers with the symbol pointing to the smaller number. We can compare the size of two numbers in a few different ways. Most often, we can simply inspect the two numbers and determine which number is greater than or less than the other. With whole numbers, the number with more digits is larger. When two numbers have the same number of digits, we compare the left most digit of each number. The number with the largest left most digit is the larger number. When the two numbers have the same number in the left most digit, we continue to move right and compare.

Another method involves the use of a number line. The number line can be drawn to give us a visual representation of the whole numbers. We can use this number line to compare the size of two or more whole numbers. We will find that as we move right on the number line, our numbers are increasing in value. As we move left on the number line, our numbers are decreasing in value. We will learn how to use our number line to show the relationship between two whole numbers using the inequality symbols (less than <) and (greater than >).

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