The greater than and less than symbols are mathematical signs which are used to denote an inequality between any two values.

They are used to compare values.

The greater than and the less symbols reduce the time complexity and it makes understanding easier.

What is greater Than Sign?

> is greater than sign, it means that the value on the left side is greater than the value on the right side.

The symbol consists of two strokes of equal length connecting in an acute angle at the right.

For example, 9>1 which means 9 is greater than 1.

< is the less than sign, it means that the value on the left side is less than the value on the right side.

The symbol consists of two strokes of equal length connecting in an acute angle at the left.

For example, 15<16 which means 15 is less than 16.

Equal to is denoted by the symbol “=”.

It is used to show the equality between two values.

While writing equations, we also use the equal to symbol.

Whenever we compare numbers, we generally talk about the sizes of the numbers.

For example,

12 is greater than 9, 4 is less than 10

Instead of writing in words we will use greater than sign or the more than symbol and less than sign,

12> 9 and 4<10

Tricks to remember when to use more than symbol and the less than symbol

Method 1

Greater than (>)

Understand the symbol from the left side to the right side,

On the left hand it has two points and on the right side it has one point, which can be written as,

Denotes greater than

This denotes the greater than sign.

Less than (<)

Understand the symbol from the left side to the right side,

On the left hand it has one point and on the right side it has two points, which can

be written as,

Denotes Less than

The crocodile or the alligator method is a very famous method.

We assume the < to be a crocodile and the number on both sides to be the fishes.

The crocodile always wants to eat a larger number of fishes, so the alligator mouth always opens towards the greater number.

We assume that the values on both the sides represent the number of fishes.

For example, 9>2

Here, the alligator mouth opens towards the value 9 which means that 9 is greater than 2.

The letter ‘L’ looks like the less than symbol “<”

The trick to remember how the less than sign looks is very simple. As “less than” starts with l, the symbol < looks more like the letter L.

Question 1) Which sign do we use with these numbers?

2 _____ 8

15______9

Solution) We need to fill in the blanks with greater than or less than symbols,

Since, 2 is less than 8, we will use the less than symbol (<)

2 < 8

Since, 15 is greater than 9, we will use the greater than symbol (>)

15 > 9

Question 2) Rani has 17 apples and Liza has 29 apples. Find out who has a greater number of apples.

Solution) Let’s list down the given information,

Number of apples Rani has = 17

Number of apples Liza has = 29

Since, 29 is greater than 17, 29> 17

Therefore, Liza has more apples than Rani.

Question 3) Rahul’s mother bought 5 roses and Aditya’s mother bought 2 roses. Find out who’s mother bought a greater number of roses.

Solution) Let’s list down the given information,

Number of roses Rahul’s mother has = 5

Number of roses Aditya’s mother has = 2

Since, 5 is greater than 2, 5>2

Therefore, Rahul’s mother has a greater number of roses than Aditya’s mother.

Question 4) Nirmal got 40 marks in her Maths exam whereas her friend Ritu got 24 marks in the same exam. Who scored less marks?

Solution) Let’s list down the given information,

Marks obtained by Nirmal =40

Marks obtained by Ritu = 24

Since, 24 is less than 40, 24<40

Therefore, Ritu scored less than Nirmal.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the meaning of less than and greater than symbols?

The symbol > is the greater than sign or the more than symbol, it means that the value on the left side is greater than the value on the right side whereas the symbol < is the less than symbol which denotes that the value on the left is less than the value on the right.

2. What is greater or less than symbols?

The symbol > denotes greater than and the symbol < denotes less than.

3. What does the less than sign look like?

The trick to remember how the less than sign looks is very simple. As “less than” starts with l , the symbol < looks more like the letter L.

4. How do you use the less than sign?

In mathematics, the less than sign always points to the smaller number.