An inequality is a way of saying that two things are not equal. The table below shows the different inequality symbols that can be used when two expressions are not equal to each other.
Graphing x = a
Before we graph an inequality on a number line, let’s look at how to graph an expression with an equals sign.
If you had to graph x = 2, that means that x must be exactly equal to 2. It cannot be any other number except for 2. To graph this on a number line, you simply put a dot at 2 to show that there is only possible solution.
Graphing x > a
Now let’s look at what happens to the graph if we change it to x > 2. This means that x must be greater than or equal to 2. When x is just equal to 2, 2 is the only possible solution. When the symbol is changed to >, it now includes solutions that are larger than 2. To graph all of these possible solutions, we put a solid point at 2 (to show that 2 is included as a solution) and draw a ray towards all the numbers larger than 2 (to the right).
Welcome to Kate’s Math Lessons!
Teachers,make sure to check out the study guides and activities.