Question Video: Comparing Three-Digit Numbers Using a Place Value Table Mathematics • 2nd Grade

Compare 251 and 234. Which number is greater?


Video Transcript

Compare 251 and 234. Which number is greater?

In this question, we’re given a pair of three-digit numbers, 251 and 234. And we’re told to compare them. We need to find which number is greater. In other words, which is the largest number? Now underneath the question, we can see a place value grid. And place value grids are really helpful when we’re comparing numbers. Do you know why? It’s because they help us to see numbers in terms of the value of their digits, in this case, the hundreds, the tens, and the ones. Now which digit should we start comparing first? Is this like column addition and we need to start with the ones and move from right to left? Should we start with the hundreds and work from left to right? Or doesn’t it matter?

If we think for a moment about the value of each part of our number, we know that the hundreds are worth a lot more than the tens or ones. And because they’re worth a lot more, we need to start by comparing them. They make the biggest difference to our numbers. So let’s start by comparing the hundreds digits in our numbers. We can see that both of our numbers begin with the digit two. They’re both 200 and something. And because the hundred digits are exactly the same, we can’t separate these numbers. We can’t see which one is greater yet. And so this is why we move along down the number to the place with the next greatest value. And that’s the tens digits.

The number 251 has five 10s, and the number 234 has three 10s. These are different, so they’re gonna help us compare the numbers. We know five 10s are greater than three 10s. And now we can see which number’s greater. It doesn’t matter what the ones show us. We’ve compared the hundreds and they were the same. So we moved on to the tens, and we saw that one lot of ten was greater than the other. 251 is greater than 234. The number that’s greater is 251.

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