Relational Operations | Pre-Algebra Review
There are several relational operators that you should be familiar with that describe a number or set of numbers. The first is equals. Equals is denoted by this sign, and it indicates an exact value. For instance, 1 plus 5 equals 6, because 6 and 6 are the same. The values are equivalent from the left side to the right side. There are such things as inequalities, “in” meaning “not”. Let’s talk about those. Those are things that are not equal. Anything other than an equals sign.
For instance, greater than. Greater than is indicated with this symbol, and it means that what is on the left side is bigger than what’s on the right side. For instance, 1 plus 5 is greater than 3. This is true because 1 plus 5 is 6 and 6 is a bigger value than 3. Less than is another inequality. The less than sign looks similar to the greater than sign, but it’s reversed. A less than sign indicates that what’s on the left side is less than, or smaller than, what’s on the right side.
For instance, 2 plus 3 is less than 10, which is true because 2 plus 3 is 5 and 5 is a smaller number than 10. Looking at these signs, you can see that whether it’s a greater than sign or a less than sign the point is always pointing at the smaller value. Here, 3 is the smaller value, 6 is the larger value. Here, 5 is the smaller value, 10 is the larger value. Likewise, the open mouth, or the large side, is always pointed out the greater value. 1 plus 5 is bigger than 3. 10 is bigger than 5.
We also have signs like greater than or equal to. That looks like the greater than sign with half of an equal sign under it. You can say things like 2 plus 3 is greater than or equal to 5, which is true because 2 plus 3 is equal to 5. It satisfies this sign. You could also write something like 2 plus 3 is greater than or equal to 1. This is also true, since 2 plus 3 is 5 and 5 is greater than 1. Finally, we have the less than or equal to sign, which, again, looks like a greater than or equal to sign flipped over.
Less than or equal to. It works similarly. You might say a number like, or a value like 2 plus 4 is less than or equal to 6. That’s true, because 2 plus 4 is 6, and 6 is equal to 6. It’s either got to be less than or equal to the number to be true. 2 plus 4 is less than or equal to 10 would also be a true statement, since 2 plus 4 is less than 10. These are your relational operators.