In everyday life, and especially when dealing with numbers, we often need to compare values to understand their relationship with each other. This is where symbols like ‘less than’ (<) and ‘greater than’ (>) come into play. Understanding the less than and greater than symbols is crucial because they are the foundation of expressing inequalities.

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## The Difference between Less than and Greater than

### Key Takeaways

**Greater than**: Left number > Right number**Less than**: Left number < Right number

### Less than vs. Greater than: the Definition

**What Does Less than Mean? **

The “less than” symbol, denoted as `<`

, is used when we compare two values, where the value on the left side is smaller than the one on the right side. For instance, when we write `3 < 5`

, we are indicating that 3 is less than 5.

- Example 1:
`2 < 7`

shows that 2 is less than 7. - Example 2:
`6 < 10`

means 6 is smaller in value when compared to 10.

**What Does Greater than Mean? **

On the flip side, the “greater than” symbol `>`

indicates that the value on the left is larger than the value on the right. For instance, `8 > 6`

communicates that 8 is greater than 6.

- Example 1:
`9 > 4`

confirms that 9 is greater than 4. - Example 2:
`15 > 12`

tells us 15 exceeds 12 in value.

### Less than vs. Greater than: Usage and Examples

Here are some examples:

- If you have 4 apples and your friend has 7 apples, you have less than your friend. This can be written as 4 < 7.
- A tree that is 20 feet tall is greater than a bush that is 5 feet tall. In mathematical terms, 20 > 5.
- If a recipe calls for less than 2 cups of sugar, you might use 1.5 cups, because 1.5 < 2.
- In a race, if Car A finishes in 50 seconds and Car B finishes in 40 seconds, Car B’s time is less than Car A’s time, so 40 < 50.
- If a classroom has a maximum capacity of 30 students and only 25 students are present, the number of students is less than the maximum capacity: 25 < 30.

## Related Confused Math Terms

### Less than vs. Equal to

**Less than (<)** indicates that one number is smaller than another. For instance, 2 < 5 shows that 2 is less than 5. In contrast, **equal to (=)** suggests that two numbers are the same in value. An example is 3 = 3, which states that 3 is equal to 3.

**Example of Less than:**

- If we have 4 apples and someone has 7, we can say 4 < 7.

**Example of Equal to:**

- When each side of a balance scale has 3 oranges, we see 3 = 3.

**Related**: **Less than vs. Equal to **

### Greater than vs. More than

**Greater than (>)** directly compares two numbers, where the number before the symbol is larger than the number after. For example, 9 > 6 signifies that 9 is greater than 6. **More than** is often used in the same way but can also refer to non-numerical concepts, like ‘more joy.’

**Example of Greater than:**

- In terms of temperature, if today is 23°C and yesterday was 20°C, we say 23 > 20.

**Example of More than:**

- If a jar has 30 candies, saying “the jar has more than 25 candies” implies at least 31 candies or a greater amount.

## Less than vs. Greater than: Example Sentences

### Example Sentences Using Less than

- Our team scored
**less than**50 points in the last game, specifically**45 points**. - We found that only
**3 out of 10**students spent**less than**an hour on homework daily. - The recipe requires
**less than**a teaspoon of salt, which means**not more than**¾ teaspoon. - We expect temperatures to drop to
**less than**0 degrees Celsius tonight. - Our garden yields
**less than**100 tomatoes each season, often around**80**.

### Example Sentences Using Greater than

- Our company’s goal is to serve
**greater than**500 customers daily. - The new model consumes
**greater than**10%**less energy**than the previous one. - The stadium can hold
**greater than**20,000 spectators, making it one of the largest in our region.

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