Understanding greater than and less than signs is a fundamental skill in mathematics. These symbols are used to compare numbers and indicate which number is greater or lesser than the other.

In this article, we will discuss the greater than and less than signs, as well as provide examples to demonstrate how to use them correctly. Let’s get started!

## What are Greater Than and Less Than Signs?

The greater than sign (>) and the less than sign (<) are mathematical symbols used to compare two numbers or quantities. They allow us to express the relationship between numbers without actually stating their difference.

### Greater Than Sign (>)

The greater than sign (>) is used to show that a number is larger than another number. When comparing two numbers, the greater number should be on the left side of the sign, while the smaller number should be on the right side. For example:

5 > 3 (5 is greater than 3)

### Less Than Sign (<)

The less than sign (<) is used to show that a number is smaller than another number. When comparing two numbers, the smaller number should be on the left side of the sign, while the larger number should be on the right side. For example:

2 < 4 (2 is less than 4)

## How to Compare Numbers Using Greater Than and Less Than Signs

Now that we understand the basic concepts of greater than and less than signs, let’s look at a few examples to see how they can be used to compare numbers.

### Example 1: Comparing Whole Numbers

**Step 1: Identify the numbers to be compared.**

Let’s compare 8 and 5.

**Step 2: Determine which number is greater or lesser.**

8 is greater than 5.

**Step 3: Write the comparison using the appropriate symbol.**

8 > 5

### Example 2: Comparing Fractions

**Step 1: Identify the fractions to be compared.**

Let’s compare 1/2 and 3/4.

**Step 2: Find a common denominator and convert the fractions.**

The common denominator for 2 and 4 is 4. Convert the fractions to have the same denominator.

1/2 = 2/4 3/4 = 3/4

**Step 3: Compare the numerators and determine which fraction is greater or lesser.**

2 < 3, so 2/4 is less than 3/4.

**Step 4: Write the comparison using the appropriate symbol.**

1/2 < 3/4

### Example 3: Comparing Decimals

**Step 1: Identify the decimals to be compared.**

Let’s compare 0.75 and 0.9.

**Step 2: Compare the decimals digit by digit.**

0.7 < 0.9, so 0.75 is less than 0.9.

**Step 3: Write the comparison using the appropriate symbol.**

0.75 < 0.9

## Final Thoughts

The greater than and less than signs are essential tools in mathematics that help us compare and order numbers. Understanding how to use them properly is vital in various mathematical concepts, including number lines, inequalities, and real-world applications.