Which is greater than 04 or 45

Greater small sign

In this post we explain to you what the greater or smaller sign means and what greater or equal to and less than or equal to mean.

  • Greater-less sign simply explained
    in the text
  • Greater-less sign - donkey bridge
    in the text
  • Smaller-Greater-Signs - Tasks
    in the text
  • Smaller or equal and greater or equal
    in the text
  • Greater-less signs in everyday life
    in the text

Greater-less sign simply explained

Quite often in the real world, you need to compare numbers. Which football team scored more goals? Who is older Which car goes faster?

To show in math which value is greater or less than the other, use the greater-than sign and the less-than sign. With their help, you can state whether one number is larger or smaller than another.

Smaller sign: 2 is a number less than 3. You say: "2 is less than 3".

Greater than sign: The 8 is much higher than the 3, so you say "8 is bigger than 3".

You have probably already encountered a third comparison sign: the equals sign. This is what you use when two numbers are the same.

Equal to sign: 4 and 4 are exactly the same size. That's why there is an equals here and you say “4 is equal to 4”!

Greater-less sign - donkey bridge

You can easily remember what the larger-smaller symbols mean when you use a “donkey bridge”: The symbols look like the open mouth of a crocodile. And the crocodile always eats the larger number!

3 > 1: 3 is bigger than 1. Therefore the crocodile opens its mouth in the direction of 3!

1 < 3: 1 is less than 3, so the opening from its mouth is pointing towards 3.

Smaller-Greater-Signs - Tasks

Now it's your turn! First, figure out which is the correct character to use to compare the two numbers. Then put the less than symbol , the greater than sign or the equals sign in the middle between the two numbers. Only then have a look at the solutions by marking the blue fields with your mouse pointer. But don't cheat!

4    <  5

9  >  5

2   =   2

3    >  1

6    <  7

3  <  4

Smaller or equal and greater or equal

Now you know the three characters for smaller, larger and equal. But there are also the two terms less than or equal to ≤ and greater than or equal to ≥. Less than or equal to tells you that a number is either less than or equal - for greater than or equal to, the number is either greater or equal. You probably only need these comparison operators if you are concerned with higher mathematics or computer science. For you it is only important that numbers are the same size, larger than or smaller than other numbers.

Greater-less signs in everyday life

Very good! You can also use bigger than and smaller than if you want to compare yourself with your friends. Imagine you're 8 years old and your best friend is 9. That means he's a year older than you! In math, you can write 8 is less than 9 like this:

Now your other best friend comes along too! You play a game of football together. You score 5 goals, your friend 3 and the other 4. Now you want to compare your goals with each other! What's bigger? 5 is greater than 4 and 4 is greater than 3 - you can also write these in combination. To do this, write the goals from large to small and always insert a greater-than symbol in between.

Great! So now you know yourself with the greater-less signs and out.

tip: and you also call less-than-signs or more-than-signs.