Less Than Symbol: Learn Concepts/Use of Smaller Than Sign
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  • Written By Vaibhav_Raj_Asthana
  • Last Modified 24-06-2022
  • Written By Vaibhav_Raj_Asthana
  • Last Modified 24-06-2022

Less Than Symbol: Learn Concepts, Examples, Sample Problems

Less Than Symbol: Children might find it difficult to understand certain concepts in Maths. One such concept is the lesser than and greater than symbol. There are mathematical situations which need us to represent the inequality between two numbers in which one number is smaller than another. We use the less than sign to represent such situations, i.e., ‘<‘. For example, when 2 is greater than 3, we symbolise it as 2 < 3.

These symbols become confusing if students are unaware of the concepts. They often get confused and end up losing marks in their home exams. Thus, knowing these symbols and their uses is a must. Furthermore, learning about using less than sign will help them solve arithmetic problems. In this article, we will see how to use a smaller than symbol in a sentence, tips to remember the sign, examples, and sample questions.

Less Than Sign

The less than or greater than symbols were introduced to compare two numbers or quantities. For example, suppose there are two persons with age 51 and 61, respectively. Students have to decide which is greater and which is less; and also represent the same. They can represent it using the symbol.


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For a better understanding of the less than symbols refer to the image below:

Less Than Symbol Representation

How to Remember Less Than and Greater Than Symbols

To ease the learning process and clear your doubts on how to understand the difference between “< and >” we have provided some examples with images so that you can visualise.

Greater Than, Lower Than Symbol

Less Than Symbol – Where the mouth of the symbol is closed.
→ 8 < 10

Less Than Symbol Example

Greater Than Symbol – Where the mouth of the symbol is open.
→ 10 > 8

Greater Than Symbol Example

So the most effective way of remembering this and not getting confused is by considering the symbol the mouth of a bird or any other animal.

The open side will always be greater as you the animal can eat as much as they want and the closed side will always be lesser.

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Less Than Sign Example

Here are some examples that show the use of less than sign:

  • 2 < 4 (2 is less than 4)
  • 1.545 < 2.989 (1.545 is less than 2.989)
  • – 0.5 < – 0. 3 (-0.5 is less than -0.3)

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Symbols, Descriptions, And Examples

=Equal to6+ 3 = 9
Not equal to3+8 ≠ 12
>Greater than12 > 11.5
Greater than equal to symbolStudents ≥ 20
<Less than12 < 18
Less than equal to symbolStudents ≤ 25

Less Than Symbol Word Problems

Below are some solved questions that will help you understand the topic better.

Example 1: Fill in the blanks with the suitable sign:
60 _____ 90
86 _____ 21
18 + 12 ____ 30
90 – 10 ____ 100
60 < 90
86 > 21
30 = 30
80 < 100
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Example 2: Arrange the following numbers in ascending order using the smaller than sign.
-30, -40, 7, 42, 65, 0.8
Here -40 is less than -30 (for negative numbers smaller value with negative sign is greater than bigger value with negative sign). Therefore the arrangement of the numbers using less than sign, we get the following result:

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Free Study Materials On Embibe

Embibe provides free study material for students you can have a look at the below links and get more information:

NCERT SolutionsNCERT Books
Class 8 Mock Test SeriesClass 8 Practice Questions
Class 9 Mock Test SeriesClass 9 Practice Questions
Class 10 Mock Test SeriesClass 10 Practice Questions
JEE Main Mock Tests 
(Class 11-12 PCM)
JEE Main Practice Questions 
(Class 11-12 PCM)
NEET Mock Tests 
(Class 11-12 PCB)
NEET Practice Questions 
(Class 11-12 PCB)

FAQs on Greater Than and Less Than Symbols

Students often face challenges when it comes to different concepts in Maths. One can check the frequently asked questions below:

Q.1: How do you remember less than, greater than?
Ans: The symbols have almost the analogy as well as representation and the other can be obtained by reversing the one. Students can check the ‘How To Remember’ section on this page for more clarity.

Q.2: What do you mean by less than symbol?
Ans: Less Than Sign is used when we have to compare two values/numbers/quantities, where one value is lesser than another.

Q.3: Which is lesser 0.8 or 0.85?
Ans: 0.8 is less than 0.85 and it is represented as 0.8<0.85.

Q.4: How do I type the less than symbol?
Ans: “Less Than” is denoted by the symbol “<“.

Q.5: Why are less than symbols used?
The significance of this symbol is to represent inequality between two numbers, wherein one number is larger and the other is lesser.

Q.6: What are the synonymous terms for the symbol?
Some of the terms used to represent the same meaning are – smaller than, fewer than, lower than, below, not greater than, and so on.

That was all on Less Than Symbol with example from our side, we hope the article was informative and answered all your queries. Kids can easily learn these concepts with the methods being mentioned in the article. However, if you have further doubts feel free to use the comments section and we will provide you with an update. Stay tuned to Embibe for latest news and updates on lesser symbols

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