In an equation, the ‘equals’ sign means the two sides are identical. When the two sides are not identical you will need to use inequalities to show the relationship between the two sides.

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In an equation the '\({=}\)' sign means the two sides are identical. But what happens when the two sides are **not** identical?

If this is the case you need to use inequalities to show the relationship between the two sides.

- \(\textless\) means
**'less than'** - \(\leq\) means
**'less than or equal to'** - \(\textgreater\) means
**'greater than'** - \(\geq\) means
**'greater than or equal to'**

For example, if \(x \textgreater 2\), then \(x = 3,~4,~5,~6,~7,~...\) (\(x\) is greater than, but not equal to \(2\), so don't include the \(2\)).

If \(y\) is \(\leq 4\), then \(y = 4,~3,~2,~1,~0,~-1,~...\) (\(y\) is less than or equal to \(4\), so do include the \(4\)).

- Question
If \(z \geq 3\), what are the possible values of \(z\)?

\[3,~4,~5,~6,~7,~8,~...\]

\(z\) is greater than or equal to \(3\), so it can be \(3\) or any number greater than \(3\).