Question Video: Ordering and Comparing Numbers | Nagwa Question Video: Ordering and Comparing Numbers | Nagwa

Question Video: Ordering and Comparing Numbers Mathematics • First Year of Primary School

Which set of numbers is ordered from greatest to least? [A] 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. [B] 5, 7, 6, 8, 9. [C] 9, 8, 7, 6, 5.

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Video Transcript

Which set of numbers is ordered from greatest to least? Five, six, seven, eight, nine. Five, seven, six, eight, nine. Or nine, eight, seven, six, five.

We’re given three sets of numbers here. And we’re asked which one of them is ordered from greatest to least. These last three words in the question are really important because as we read through our sets of numbers, we might have heard one set of numbers that sounded like it might be right. But before we start looking, we need to think about these last three words. What does it mean to order a set of numbers from greatest to least? We know that another way of saying the word greatest is largest, and another way of saying least is smallest.

We’re looking for a set of numbers that starts with the largest number and goes down and down and down until we get to the smallest number. You know when you walk down some stairs, we might say, “I’m descending the stairs.” Or going from greatest to least is descending order. We want our set of numbers to go down. Let’s use a number track to help us here. Now, we know that the numbers on the number track are written in order. If we read them from left to right, we start with the number one and we end with the number 10. They go up; they go from the least to the greatest.

But our question asked us to look for a set of numbers that’s in order from greatest to least. So, we need to read our number track in the opposite direction, from right to left, starting with the number 10 and ending with the number one. Now, which of our set of numbers is in this order? Let’s jump along our number track and see what we find. Our first set of numbers, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Well, these numbers are in order. We set them one after each other. But we’re travelling in the wrong direction here. We’re going from least to greatest. Our numbers are getting bigger each time. Five, six, seven, eight, nine. This is not descending order. This is ascending order. Our numbers are getting larger. But this set is not the correct answer.

Let’s try our second set. We’re starting with the number five again, seven, six. Well, let’s just stop there. These numbers are not in any kind of order. We’re traveling in all sorts of directions. The numbers five, seven, six, eight, nine are not in order at all. What about our final set of numbers starting with the number nine? Eight, seven. This looks like it could be the correct answer; we’re traveling in the right direction. Our numbers are getting smaller. Six, five. We can see that we started with the greatest of our numbers, which was nine. And we’ve ended with the least, which was the number five. Our numbers got smaller and smaller each time. Nine, eight, seven, six, five. It’s the same as counting backwards, isn’t it?

It would have been very easy to think that the right answer was five, six, seven, eight, nine because we used to say numbers that way. But we read the question really carefully. And we saw that we we’re being asked for a set of numbers that was ordered from greatest to least. And that set of numbers is nine, eight, seven, six, five.

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