# How do you remember less than greater than?

Jul, 17 2023## Understanding the Basics of Less Than and Greater Than Symbols

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of less than and greater than symbols, it is essential to understand what these symbols represent. In mathematics, less than (<) and greater than (>) symbols are used to compare two quantities. If the quantity on the left is larger, we use the greater than symbol. Conversely, if the quantity on the right is larger, we use the less than symbol. The symbols open towards the larger quantity and close towards the smaller one. Now that we understand this let's look at some tips and tricks to remember these symbols more effectively.

## Visualizing the Symbols as a Hungry Alligator

One of the most common methods used to remember the less than and greater than symbols is the 'Hungry Alligator' method. This strategy involves imagining the symbols as an alligator's mouth that is always open towards the larger number because it wants to eat the most. The alligator always wants more, opening its mouth towards the larger number. This fun and effective method is great for children and adults, making mathematical comparisons a lot less daunting and more memorable.

## Leveraging the Analogy of the Number Line

Using a number line is Another useful method to remember the less than and greater than symbols. Picture a number line in your mind, with numbers increasing as you move from left to right. When comparing two numbers, the number on the right is always greater. Therefore, the symbol should open towards the right when the number on the left is smaller, and vice versa. This visual representation can help solidify your understanding of these symbols.

## Remembering Through the Alphabetical Order

Here's another method for those who find the language easier than math. The less than symbol (<) comes before, the greater than symbol (>) in alphabetical order. Just as 'less' comes before 'greater' alphabetically, the symbol that looks like an L (<) represents 'less than,' and the remaining symbol (>) represents 'greater than.' This method leverages your linguistic skills to aid in mathematical understanding.

## Using the 'Left-to-Right' Reading Strategy

Another strategy involves our natural reading direction from left to right. When we read a sentence, we start from the left and move to the right. So, if the symbol points to the left (<), the number on the left is less. If the symbol points to the right (>), the number on the left is greater. This strategy aligns mathematics with our natural reading habits, making it easier to remember the symbols.

## Practicing with Real-Life Examples

Finally, practice and real-life examples are the best way to remember less than and greater than symbols. Mathematics is everywhere in our daily life. Whether comparing prices at the supermarket or figuring out the fastest route to work, we're constantly comparing numbers. By consciously applying the less than and greater than symbols in these real-life scenarios, we strengthen our understanding of the symbols and make our daily life a bit more mathematical.