# compare the greatness or magnitude of the two numbers?

#### longxianchen

##### Senior Member
Hi,
We can use "size" to compare objects,for example, "The box is three times larger the size of that one". What word do we use to compare numbers? Can we say “compare the greatness or magnitude of the two numbers, you will find nuber A(f.g. 4/5) is greater than number B(f.g. 3/5)"?
Thanks a million!!

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• #### SwissPete

##### Senior Member
"The box is three times larger the size of that one".
"This box is three times larger than that one".

4 is bigger than 2.
2 is smaller than 4.

#### longxianchen

##### Senior Member
Thank you very much! But I need a noun to compare different numbers. Sorry I made a mistake. It should have been "The box is three times the size of that one".

#### sdgraham

##### Senior Member
Thank you very much! But I need a noun to compare different numbers.
Why??????????????

#### longxianchen

##### Senior Member
Because there is a posibility that I will ask my kids to compare two numbers using the word(somelike "greatness" or magnitude").
For example, "we should pay attention to the __ of different numbers". No words for the blank？

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#### SwissPete

##### Senior Member
I can only think of: "We should pay attention to the size of different numbers".

#### longxianchen

##### Senior Member
Thanks a lot. Just now, an american friend told me "magnitude’ works.

#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
Magnitude does not work - or more correctly is inappropriate in this context. To be frank, I find it extraordinarily difficult to think of a situation where you would wish to say "We should pay attention to the size of different numbers." Numbers don't have sizes to compare, things have sizes. I suppose you could use the values of different numbers in your sentence, but even then it's a pretty odd thing to say. The point of numbers is that they are used to give dimension or quantity to things. If you don't always pay attention to the difference between 3 and 5, then numbers have no purpose. That makes the sentence nonsensical. It may have grammar and vocabulary, but it has no utility.

The problem with magnitude is that it has a specific meaning when discussing numbers. 2, 3 and 5 have the same order of magnitude. 10 is one order of magnitude greatef than 2, 3 and 5. 200, 250 and 765 are two orders of magnitude greater than 2, 3 and 5. Not the best word to use when chatting to your children about numbers.

#### longxianchen

##### Senior Member
Thank you.

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