Line up the ones digit for the numbers.
Compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. When you find the
first difference, the number with the largest digit is the largest number.

3458

3472

The ones digits are lined up. Starting from the left, the first difference is in
the tens column.

Since 7 > 5, then 3472 > 3458

If one number is positive and the other is negative, then the positive
number has the greatest value

34 > -3458

-3458 and -3472

If both numbers are negative:

Line up the ones digit for the numbers.
Compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. When you find the
first difference, the number with the largest digit is the smallest
number.

-3458

-3472

The ones digits are lined up. Starting from the left, the first difference is in
the tens column.

Line up the ones digit for the numbers. Add zeros if necessary to give both
numbers the same number of decimal places.

Compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. When you find the
first difference, the number with the largest digit is the largest number.

3458.320

3458.318

The ones digits are lined up and there are the same number of decimal places.
Starting from the left, the first difference is in the tenths column.

Since 2 > 1, then 3458.320 > 3458.318

If one number is positive and the other is negative,
then the positive number has the greatest value

34.23 > -345.8

If both numbers are negative:

-3458.32 and
-3458.318

Line up the ones digit for the numbers. Add zeros if necessary to give both
numbers the same number of decimal places.
Compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. When you find the
first difference, the number with the largest digit is the smallest
number.

-3458.320

-3458.318

The ones digits are lined up and there are the same number of decimal places.
Starting from the left, the first difference is in the tenths column.

When the whole numbers are
different, you will not need to compare the fractions.

13 5/6 and 14 4/5

Line up the ones digit for the whole numbers.
Compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. When you find the
first difference, the number with the largest digit is the largest number.

When the whole numbers are the same, then the mixed number with the largest fraction
has the greatest value. Use the same rules as you did in:

13 5/6

14 4/5

The ones digits are lined up. Starting from the left, the first difference is in
the tens column.

Since 4 > 3, then 14 4/5 > 13 5/6

9/7 > 9/8

9/8 > 9/9

9/9 > 9/10

If one mixed number is positive and the other is negative, then the
positive mixed number has the largest value.

1 2/3 > -23 4/5

If both mixed numbers are negative:

When the whole numbers are
different, you will not need to compare the fractions.

-13 5/6 and -14 4/5

Line up the ones digit for the whole numbers.
Compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. When you find the
first difference, the number with the largest digit is the smallest
number.

When the whole numbers are the same, then the mixed number with the largest fraction
has the smallest value. Use the same rules as you did in:

-13 5/6

-14 4/5

The ones digits are lined up. Starting from the left, the first difference is in
the tens column.

Since -4 < -3, then -14 4/5 < -13 5/6

-9/7 < -9/8

-9/8 < -9/9

-9/9 < -9/10

Fun with Fractions and Decimals

The following 100 square grid can be used to compare
fractions and/or decimals. Click on a square to shade/unshade
it.

Sample: If 47/100 = 0.47 and 53/100 = .0.53 The
shaded region will show 0.53 is bigger.

Line up the ones digit for the numbers.
Compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. When you find the
first difference, the number with the largest digit is the largest number.

3458

3472

The ones digits are lined up. Starting from the left, the first difference is in
the tens column.