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The greater than symbol (>) is a basic mathematical symbol that is used to compare two different numbers, variables, or expressions in mathematics. The symbol identifies the greater value between any two given values. Here we will explore the greater than symbol in detail....Read MoreRead Less

Mathematical symbols are used to carry out various operations as it is easy to refer to mathematical quantities with symbols. It is important to keep in mind that mathematics is entirely made up of numbers and symbols. The various symbols in mathematics are used to represent not only different quantities but also the relationship between them.

The ‘greater than’ symbol is used to compare two values by identifying the larger value between two.

The ‘greater than’ symbol looks like an acute angle, with two points (1 and 2) on the left and joined to a third point (3) on the right, as shown below.

Let us look at an example:

We know that 18 is greater than 16. To represent this, we will use the greater than symbol (>).

⇒ 18 > 16

Now, how are we supposed to know whether to use the ‘>’ or the ‘<’ symbol? This might be a bit confusing. For this, we use the concept of the alligator’s mouth. Alligators will eat the larger number, so the open side of the symbol will be towards the larger number.

Greater than symbol**:**

**Example 1**: Identify the greater number: 15 __ 25.

**Solution:**

We know that 25 is greater than 15

Therefore, 15 \(\underline{~~<~~}\) 25.

**Example 2**: Identify the greater number: 18 + 20 __ 25.

**Solution:**

Since 18 + 20 = 38 [Addition]

We know that 38 is greater than 25.

Therefore, 38 \(\underline{~~>~~}\) 25

18 + 20 \(\underline{~~>~~}\) 25

**Example 3**: Identify the greater number in the following pair of numbers and write it using the symbol.

(i) -10, -25 ; (ii) -22, 22

**Solution:**

(i) -10, -25

We know that in negative numbers the number with a greater numerical value is less.

Between -10 and -25, 10 has a lesser numerical value and 25 has a greater numerical value.

Therefore, – 10 > – 25

(ii) -22, 22

Between -22 and 22, the number with the positive sign has a greater numerical value.

Therefore, – 22 < 22

**Example 4**: John has 10 pink feathers and Max has 10 black, 2 white and 3 red feathers. Who has more feathers?

**Solution:**

John has 10 pink feathers

Max has 10 black, 2 white, and 3 red feathers

Max has a total of 10 + 2 + 3 = 15 feathers

15 is greater than 10

⇒ 15 > 10

Therefore, Max has more feathers than John.

Frequently Asked Questions

In mathematics, the greater than or equal to symbol is used to denote inequality. It tells us that the given variable is greater than or equal to the given value. It is represented as,

**Example:** If x \(\geq\) 8 is given, it means that the variable x is either greater than or equal to 3.

To remember the greater than symbol, we can use the concept of the alligator’s mouth, which implies that the alligator will eat larger numbers. The mouth of the alligator can be imagined as the greater than symbol which is open toward the larger number.

We can remember the less than (<) symbol in terms of how the sign “<“ resembles the letter “L” and “less than” starts with the letter ‘L’.

To put it another way, the first number is ‘Less than’ the second number.

The following terms can be used to describe the ‘>’ symbol:

- greater than
- more than
- higher than
- larger than
- over

In mathematics, the less than or equal to symbol is used to denote inequality. It tells us that the given variable is either less than or equal to the given value. It is represented as,

**Example:** If x ≤ 7 is given, it means that the variable x is either less than or equal to 7.

In mathematics, the equal sign represents that the values, equations, or expressions written on both sides of the ‘equals’ symbol are equal. It is represented as,