So... what is an inequality? That's definitely not a term that we use everyday.
Let's break this word down, so that we really understand it. The term equality means that something is equal (=). Our previous unit on solving equations dealt with equalities. In this case, your math sentence would contain a simple equal sign.
3+5 = 8
x + 2 = 10
x + y = 9
So... let's think about what the prefix in means in inequality. The prefix in means "not". So, an inequality means "not equal". Can you think of other signs in math that you've used besides an equals sign?
Yes, if something is not equal, then it is greater than (>) or less than (<).
Inequality: Not equal
We use the following symbols to show that a math sentence is not equal:
< less than
> greater than
> greater than or equal to (the "or equal to" part is indicated by the line underneath of the > symbol)
< less than or equal to (the "or equal to" part is indicated by the line underneath of the < symbol)
Let's take a look at a few examples of simple inequality math sentences:
2 < 3 Read as: 2 is less than 3
x > 8 Read as: x is greater than 8
y > 8 Read as: y is greater than or equal to 8
z < -12 Read as: z is less than or equal to negative 12
3 < x < 15 Read as: 3 is less than x and x is less than 15
This is just the beginning. There's so much to learn when studying inequalities. I've broken it down into simple, easy to understand lessons.
Take a look at all of the inequality lessons that you can find on Algebra-class.com. For most lessons, you'll even find an extra set of practice problems so that you can try a few on your own.
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