Use less than, equals, or greater than to fill in the blank: 400 milliliters what two-fifths liters.
The first thing to notice in a question like this is that we can’t directly compare the numerical values of a 400 and two-fifths because the units here are different. We have milliliters and liters. So in order to compare these two quantities, we’ll need to recall the conversion that there’s 1000 milliliters in one liter.
Let’s think about how we go from 1000 milliliters to 400 milliliters. In order to do this, we’ll need a step in between. We can think about how we might go from 1000 milliliters to 200 milliliters. Therefore, we’ll need to do the same on the other side with our liter value. If we divide one by five, we could write this as the fraction of one-fifth. This is, of course, equal to 0.2 as a decimal. But as we’re thinking of fractions in this question, let’s keep it as one-fifth.
In the next step, we think about how we go from 200 milliliters to 400 milliliters. And that’s by multiplying by two. So we’ll need to do the same on the other side again with our liters. When we multiply one-fifth by two, we will get two-fifths.
We were asked to compare 400 milliliters and two-fifths liters, and we’ve already found the answer. They’re equal. So that would be the missing symbol, the equal sign.