Arrange the numbers 6298, 5988, 2175, 7839, and 5033 in ascending order.
We’ve been given five four-digit numbers. And we’re being asked to arrange them in ascending order. Remember, ascending means getting larger. So we need to start with the smallest number and end with the largest. How are we going to compare these numbers? Well, we can see that they all have the same number of digits. So we can’t just pick a number because it has a smaller number of digits than another one. We’re going to have to compare the digits that make up the numbers. At the moment, all our numbers are side by side in the question. To help us to compare them digit by digit, let’s write them vertically. And to help us understand the value of each digit, let’s put them in a place value grid, 6298, 5988, 2175, 7839, and finally 5033.
Which digits are we going to compare first? Well, in each number, the digit with the greatest value is the thousands digit. Which of our thousands digits is the smallest? The smallest number of thousands is two thousands. All the other numbers have a number of thousands greater than two thousands. So 2175 is the smallest of our numbers. Let’s cross it through to show that we’ve used it. Which is our next smallest number of thousands? The next smallest number of thousands is five. But there are two numbers that have five thousands in them.
And so we need to compare the hundreds digits in these two numbers. The first number has five thousands and nine hundreds. And the second has five thousands and zero hundreds. Zero hundreds is less than nine hundreds. So our second number is smaller. Let’s write these two numbers in order. 5033 followed by 5988. And again, we can cross through both of these numbers on our grid to show that we’ve put them in order. We’re only left with two numbers. One contains six thousands. And the other contains seven thousands. The number with six thousands is smaller than the number with seven thousands. So we can write these final two numbers in order. 6298 and finally 7839.
To arrange the numbers in ascending order, we needed to compare the digits. Because all the numbers had the same number of digits, we needed to start with the digit with the greatest value, which was the thousands digit. By writing the numbers vertically in a place value grid, it helped us to compare the thousands digits more easily. And when we needed to, we also compared the hundreds digits.
The five numbers in ascending order are 2175, 5033, 5988, 6298, and 7839.