Comparing Numbers to Hundred

Overview

When we compare two numbers, we’re deciding if a number is greater than, less than, or equal to the other number.

You can start with Comparing Numbers to Ten, and then move onto bigger numbers!

In order to compare bigger numbers, we use Place Value.

In a two-digit number, the number to the left is in the tens place
and the number on the right is in the ones place.

This is the place value for 24:

This is the place value for 32:

If you want to know which two-digit number is bigger, take a look at the tens place first.

If we’re comparing 24 and 32, there are more tens in 32 than 24. So 32 is definitely the bigger number!

Let’s look at another example. Let’s compare 45 and 71.

45        71

4 is in the tens place in 45
7 is in the tens place in 71

So we know right away 71 is GREATER THAN 45.
(We also know 45 is LESS THAN 71!)

But what if the number in the tens place is the same?
Well, then we need to look at the ones place.

Let’s compare 30 and 35:

There’s a 3 in the tens place in both numbers, right?
To compare these numbers, we need to take a look at the ones place.

0 is in the ones place in 30
5 is in the ones place in 35

And since we know 5 is GREATER THAN 0,
we know 35 must be GREATER THAN 30!

Here are some helpful tools when you are comparing two-digit numbers:

The first is a number line that goes to 100:

If a number comes after another number, we know it’s bigger!
If a number comes before another number, we know it’s smaller!

You can also imagine the numbers broken down into place value blocks:

32 has the most tens, so it must be GREATER THAN the other numbers.
13 has the fewest tens, so it must be LESS THAN the other numbers.

Do you remember the math symbols we used when Comparing Numbers to Ten?
Here they are:

We can use these math symbols to compare two-digit numbers.
Here are some simple examples:

50 > 30

or

10 < 90

If we’re comparing two equal two-digit numbers, it would look like this:

40 = 40

Let’s use a little trickier two-digit numbers and compare them using the math symbols.

The number in the tens place tells us which number is bigger:

82 > 75

or

12 < 63

Remember if the number in the tens place is the same,
then you need to look at the ones place:

57 > 51

or

33 < 39

Comparing two-digit numbers gets much easier with practice, so let’s get started!

Practice Question 1

Let’s compare the numbers 22 and 65.

22 < 65

True or False?

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You can always imagine the math symbols to look like a crocodile opening its mouth. The crocodile always wants to chomp down on the bigger number!
TIP

Practice Question 2

Try another true or false question.

85 > 42

True or False?

Practice Question 3

Look closely at this one–it’s tricky! Remember when the number in the tens place is the same, you need to look at the numbers in the ones place:

66 > 68

True or False?

Practice Question 4

Which math symbol belongs in the space between these two numbers?

52 ____ 99

Practice Question 5

Which math symbol belongs in the space between these two numbers?

78 ____ 75

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