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# Basic Math/Math

Question
What are the rules for using symbols ">" and "<" (expressing greater than/less than)?  What does it say or mean when a number precedes or follows each symbol (e.g., "a>" or ">a")?  What does "a>b" mean?

As you pointed out, it means one number is greater than or less than another.  In your example, a is greater than b.  The way I like to remember what each means is that the smaller number is at the point (the small end of the symbol) and the larger number is at the open end (the larger side) of the symbol.  In reading, you always read left to right, so a > b is a is greater than b.  b < a is b is less than a.  Both statements say the same thing in reality, it's just a matter of how it's written.  So, in your example, a>b if b = 2, then a is 3 or morer.  In b<a, if a=2, the b is 1 or less.
Questioner's Rating
 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 10 Clarity of Response = 10 Politeness = 10 Comment Awesome. Thanks for clarifying those "greater than" and "less than" symbols for me. Simple definitions can mess you up if you get it wrong. I appreciate the simple explanation. Thank you so much!

Basic Math

Volunteer

#### Lynn Houston

##### Expertise

I can answer questions in basic algebra and any grade school math.

##### Experience

Love math, currently helping my nephew get through Intermediate Algebra.

Education/Credentials
I majored in Math Ed in college (but decided not to teach), so have over 40 credits of math.