Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Maths symbols step into our academic lives in primary school and stay with us for long. Some of them are used frequently outside the classroom too. For example, symbols for greater than >and less than < are two such symbols that have a use outside of Maths. Discover easy ways to use these symbols.
Symbols in Maths are essential as they denote different concepts and functions. Moreover, they are universally accepted and enable sharing of information symbolically. Also, symbols are not just for Maths teachers and students; you can be a programmer dealing with symbols like the symbol for the xor gate. Or you can be a writer using the symbol for a dialogue quote in your play.
Students face difficulties learning and recalling them, especially if they look similar: like the symbols for greater than and less than. We constantly question ourselves what the sign for greater than is? Does it face the right side? What is the symbol for less than?
Student or adult, it is crucial for you to be aware of the symbols for greater than and less than. This blog gives you great tips to recall them and use them efficiently.
Where do greater than and less than symbols come from?
The symbols of inequalities are another name for the symbols of greater than and less than, which were found in a book in the year 1631. They were presented in a book by a British mathematician Thomas Harriot. The book is called Artis Analyticae Praxis ad Aequationes Algebraicas Resolvendas. We also employ the greater than or equal to and less than or equal to symbols in Maths. These were introduced in 1734 by French mathematician Pierre Bouguer
What are greater than and less than signs for?
The sign for greater than and the symbol for less than is used to compare numbers and expressions in Maths. The greater than symbol is >.
Example: 10>7 is read as ’10 is greater than 7′.
The less than symbol is <.
Example: 10 < 12. So, 10 is less than 12.
If the first number is greater, use the greater than symbol (>) is used. On the other hand, if the first number is of lesser value, then the symbol (<) is used.
|>||greater than||5 > 3|
|≥||greater than or equal to||x ≥ 5|
|≤||less than or equal to||x ≤ 5|
How to remember greater than and less than signs?
Students do get confused over the two symbols for greater than (>) and less than (<). However, there are a few methods that the Maths mentors at Edulyte employ to help their learners remember the signs and use them efficiently.
The Alligator/ Crocodile Method
Imagine an alligator or a crocodile. With a big mouth, of course. When the alligator/crocodile feels hungry, it goes looking for fish. When it sees two schools of fish, which one would it eat? The bigger one. So it opens its mouth really wide and has the fish as its lunch.
So if there are 8 fish on one side and 4 on the other, the alligator/crocodile will turn towards the school of 8 fish and open its mouth wide.
In fact, you can draw your own alligator/crocodile while trying to use the symbols of inequalities. It solves the problems and makes it fun too! You will never have to fret over the question: what is the sign of greater than after following this technique?
This method is a favourite among many primary-class students. And the logic behind it is simple. “Less than” starts with L, so the symbol for less than < resembles L. The greater than > symbol does not look like L.
You can further understand the symbols for greater than and less than with their examples.
Explain greater than and less than signs with examples
- 4 > 3; this means 4 is greater than 3
- 1,234 < 1,324: this means 1234 is lesser than 1,324.
- 20,345 > 2456; this means 20,345 is greater than 2,456
- 0.2 > 0.02; this means 0.2 is greater than 0.02
- 9.65 < 9.85; this means 9.65 is less than 9.85
- 2/3 < 3/4; this means the fraction 2/3 is lesser than 3/4
- 7/12 < 2/3; this means the fraction 7/12 is less than 2/3
- – 2 > -6 ; this means -2 is greater than -6
The symbols for greater than and less than or the symbols of inequalities can help comprehend and establish the relationship between two numbers. In addition, you can find its uses in solving many Maths problems. If you are looking for more handy tips in dealing with Maths, Find your math class today. With personalised, affordable classes and tutoring available at your convenience, Edulyte empowers you to learn better and more quickly. sign up here to get referral credit.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The greater than symbol is used for comparison. It shows that a number is greater than the other number.
The less than symbol is used for comparison. It shows that a number is smaller than the other number.
The equal symbol denotes that the two given numbers are of the same value. Neither has a value greater or lesser than the other number.
The greater than or equal to ≥ symbol represents inequality in Maths. It means the given variable is either greater than or equal to a particular value. For example, if x ≥ 5, it shows that the unknown variable x is either greater than or equal to 5.
0.1 is not greater than 1. In Maths, 0.1 is less than 1. Therefore, it is mathematically represented as 0.1 < 1.
Less than or equal to ≤ means one of the given variables is either less than or equal to another number or variable.
Example: x ≤ 8 means that the unknown variable x is less than or equal to the value of 8.
The greater than or equal to ≥ symbol represents inequality in Maths. It tells us that the unknown variable, given in the Maths problem, is either greater than or equal to a particular value.
To show less than 70, you write < 70.
> 5 is how you will show greater than 5.
Using the symbols of inequalities, we can show 5 is less than 8 in the following way:
5 < 8
On your keyboard, you will find the less than symbol <. Press the Shift key and the key with the less than symbol and get the less than symbol on your screen.
To create a greater than symbol, on your phone or tablet, open the keyboard, go into the numbers (123), then (#+=) or symbols (sym) section, and tap the > symbol.
On your keyboard, you can get the greater than or equal to sign ≥ Press the Alt key while typing 242 from the numeric keypad and release it to get the symbol.
Press and hold the Alt key and type 243 on your keypad.
You can type many characters that may not have a corresponding key on your keyboards – such as European language alphabetic characters and ASCII symbols.
Check out the Character Map application if you are using a Windows operating system. It contains all the special characters that you may require.
In Windows 10, you can insert special characters or emojis using the keys: Windows key + .
You can use the character Viewer on the Mac system, similar to Windows Character Map.
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