Comparing integers

When comparing integers, you can use a number line and this is what we will use to show you how to compare integers.

Number lineNumber line

 Any number to the right of 0 gets bigger and bigger as you move to the right. Therefore, if the numbers are positive, the smaller number is the one closer to 0.

Number line

Any number to the left of 0 gets smaller and smaller as you move to the left.

So, if the numbers are negative, the bigger number is the one closer to zero

Thing to remember:

Numbers on the left are always smaller than numbers on the right.

Example #1

Compare 3 and -2

-2 and 3 on the number line-2 < 3

-2 is on the left of 3, so -2 is smaller than 3

Example #2

Compare -4 and -1

At first, you may have a tendency to say that -4 is bigger than -1 because 4 is bigger than 1.

However, this is not the case. -1 is bigger than -4 because it is closer to 0.

Also, -1 is on the right of -4.

-4 and -1 on the number line-4 < -1

Compare -7 and -5

-5 is bigger than -7

-7 and -5 on the number line-7 < -5


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