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When two numbers are different in value, a variety of symbols are used to turn them into an inequality. The four most common inequalities in arithmetic are:

  • Greater than (>) means that the first number or expression is greater than the second:

  • 5 > 4

  • 1,000 > 100

  • 2 > –2

  • Less than (<) means that the first number or expression is less than the second:

  • 7 < 9

  • 1,776 < 1,777

  • –5 < 0

  • Doesn’t equal (≠) means that the two numbers or expressions aren’t equal:

  • 2 ≠ 3

  • 3 ≠ 2

  • –17 ≠ 17

  • Approximately equals (≈) means that the two numbers or expressions are close in value:

  • 999 ≈ 1,000

  • 14.001 ≈ 14

  • 1,000,823 ≈ 1,000,000

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