Translating Words into Inequalities

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10835

"Is" is a small but important word, especially in algebra! You know how to write equations, but inequalities can be tricky. Watch informative videos and use worksheets to learn to write inequalities!


Expressions and Equations, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Pre-Algebra

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Is there a difference between "12 greater than x" and "12 is greater than x"? Let's find out!

If you said "yes," you are correct!

  • 12 greater than x would translate to x + 12.
  • 12 is greater than x would translate to 12 > x.

When you see the words "greater than," you know that means it is an inequality.

You can watch this teacher show how to look at the words to show how to write an equality in this Translate Word Phrases to Inequalities video, by Larry Schmidt:


Below are some key words for inequalities:

> <
  • Is more than
  • Is greater than
  • Is larger than above
  • Minimum
  • At least
  • Is not less than
  • Not smaller than
  • Is smaller than
  • Is less than below
  • Maximum
  • At most
  • Not more than
  • Is not greater than


Here is a more in-depth video, by Julie Harland, Your Math Gal, called, Translating words to Equations. The video is not just about inequalities, but equations as well:


Continue on to the Got It! section for a match game!

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.