Numbers are used to show how many there are of something. We've been
using blocks because it's easy to see the ones, tens, hundreds, and
thousands. Normally we'd be using numbers to show how many children,
or apples, or teachers, or friends, or whatever we want to show.
Often we want to compare numbers.
For example, if John has 5 apples
and Suzy has 8 apples, we might want to know who has more apples.
pictures below show that Suzy has more apples.
When we don't have a picture to look at we have to use just the numbers.
Here are two ways to compare numbers:
- Count. The number you get to first is smaller. 5 comes before 8
so 5 is smaller than 8.
Use a number line. The greater, or higher number is always further
along the line.
Comparing 2-digit numbers
When we compare 2-digit numbers we start by looking at the tens place.
If the tens are greater for one number then that number will be greater.
Let's compare 62 and 38
What if the tens are the same?
If the tens are the same we need to compare the ones. The number with
more ones is greater.
The Greater Than and Less Than Symbols
Comparing 3-digit numbers
Let's compare 285 and 463
We start by comparing the hundreds. If one number has more hundreds
then it is larger.
464 > 285
If the Hundreds are the same
742 > 728
If the Hundreds and the Tens are the same
247 > 245
Comparing Large Numbers
Very often we need to compare large numbers to see which is the greatest
or the least. If someone let you pick from two different amounts of
money you would probably want the greatest amount!
Rules For Comparing Whole Numbers
The greater the number of digits, the greater
is the number.
If two numbers have the same number of
digits, the number with the bigger digit on the left hand
side is greater.
If the leftmost digits are the same we
compare the next digit to the right and keep doing this
until the digits are different.
How To Compare Numbers
The examples below show how you to compare numbers.
The first number is 7-digits number,
while second number is 6-digits
|The first digit is bigger in the first number
|The first digit is the same but the next digit
is bigger in first number
|The first three digits are the same but fourth
is greater in first number
Try these comparing
numbers worksheets to practice,
And have a go at this fun ordering numbers game from the BBC Skillwise