Common Core Math Vocabulary

Greater Than - Definition with Examples

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What is greater than? 
Greater than can be defined as an inequality used to compare two or more numbers, quantities or values. 
It is used when a quantity or number is bigger or larger than the second or rest quantities or numbers.

The symbol > is used for comparing numbers and values. The wide open side of the sign always faces to the bigger number, whereas the small end points to the smaller number.

Greater than big symbol Alligator mouth wide open

Here, 8 is greater than 5. 

Comparing numbers greater number.

Sometimes, values may also be ‘greater than or equal to’. For instance, when comparing the quantity of water that two containers can hold, we may say that the capacity of the containers is greater than or equal to 5 cups. 

We use the sign ≥ for greater than or equal to, with the greater quantity on the wide opened side of the symbol. 

  Fun Facts

  • The greater than sign > is often compared to the mouth of an alligator. The mouth is wide open, when facing the bigger number.

 

let's sing Let's sing!

When comparing numbers and have a doubt,
Think of Mr. Alligator’s wide opened snout.
Big juicy numbers make his mouth open wide.
Small little numbers make him turn to the side. 
 

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Instead of handing out comparison worksheets to your children, ask them to compare the quantities you show them. Show them different things like a full glass of milk and a half glass of milk, a jar half full of cookies and a jar full of chips, 20 crayons and 12 pencils. 
Ask them to air trace the symbol to show which quantity is greater and use ‘greater than’ while stating their observation. 
 

related math vocabulary Related math vocabulary

Less than.

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