Video: Ordering Given Large Numbers in Descending Order

Arrange the following numbers from biggest to smallest: 15,756,396,142, 34,916,493,094, 95,767,878,741, 65,895,755,940.

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Video Transcript

Arrange the following numbers from biggest to smallest, 15,756,396,142, 34,916,493,094, 95,767,878,741, 65,895,755,940.

These are some pretty large numbers. We’ve been given four numbers that have 11 digits in them. Thankfully, each number has been written with three commas. We could also use small spaces, but these have been written with commas. And the commas separate the different parts of the number to help us read them more easily.

Going from right to left in each number, we’ve got our first group of three. We’ll call these the ones. This group of three digits contains our ones digit, our tens digit, and also our hundreds digit. Our next group of three digits is separated from the ones section by a comma. These are our thousands. We have the thousands digit, the ten thousands digit, and also the hundred thousands digit.

The next group of three digits show the number of millions, millions, tens of millions, and hundred millions. And then, finally, we have our billions section. We only have two digits in these numbers, so we have billions and tens of billions. But it could also go as far as hundred billions if we wanted it to.

We are asked to arrange the numbers from biggest to smallest. Let’s write them in our place value grid to help us compare them, 15,756,396,142, 34,916,493,094, 95,767,878,741, and finally 65,895,755,940. There are 44 different digits there. How do we know where to start when comparing these numbers? We always start by comparing the digit with the largest value.

We can see that all four numbers have a different digit in the ten billions column, so it doesn’t matter what any of the digits in each number is. In fact, we could ignore the rest of the grid. All we have to do is to compare the digits in the ten billions place. We can see that the largest number will be the number with nine lots of ten billion. Next, comes the number with the six in the ten billions place, then the three, and finally one.

Because the numbers had the same amount of digits, and also their first digits were all different, we simply needed to look at the first digits to compare them. In order from largest to smallest, the numbers are 95,767,878,741, 65,895,755,940, 34,916,493,094, and finally 15,756,396,142.

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