How do you write an inequality?


Quick Answer

Inequalities are written using the "<" ( is less than) and ">" (is greater than) signs. An inequality is a way of comparing two things in math. Inequalities describe situations where one item is larger or smaller than the other.

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Full Answer

An inequality can be read as a sentence. For example, the inequality 7>3 can be read as "seven is greater than three." To write the same inequality using "less than" in place of "greater than" involves switching the place of the seven and the three, so the sentence would read "three is less than seven," which is written as 3<7.

Notice that in both types of inequality, the symbol points its open side towards whichever item is larger. An easy way to decide which way to point the inequality symbol is to remember that the larger side of the symbol points towards the largest item.

Sometimes the two items being compared may have a chance of being equal to one another, in which case the symbol "=" is used in conjunction with one of the other symbols. For instance, in a case where a variable x may have a value up to but no more than seven, you would write "x<=7", which is read as "x is less than or equal to seven."

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