Video: Comparing Small Natural Numbers

Which is the smallest number from 39, 20, 27, 45?

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Video Transcript

Which is the smallest number from 39, 20, 27, and 45?

We can use a place value chart to help us work out the value of each of the numbers. 39 has three tens and nine ones. 20 has two tens and no ones. 27 has two tens and seven ones. And 45 has four tens and five ones.

Now, we can compare the value of the tens digit in each number. Remember we’re looking for the smallest number. So we’re looking for the number with the least amount of tens. We can see that both of these numbers have two tens, which means the other two numbers can’t be the smallest number.

To help work out which of these two numbers is the smallest, we need to look in the ones column. Which of these two digits is the smallest? It’s zero. So the smallest number is 20.

The smallest number from 39, 20, 27, and 45 is 20.

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