Rules for Inequalities

If a, b and c are real numbers, then

  1. a < b \Longrightarrow a + c< b + c
  2. a < b \Longrightarrow a - c < b - c
  3. a < b \hspace{0.1in} and \hspace{0.1in}c > 0 \Longrightarrow ac < bc
  4. a < b \hspace{0.1in} and \hspace{0.1in}c < 0 \Longrightarrow bc < ac special case: a < b \Longrightarrow -b < -a
  5. a > 0 \Longrightarrow \frac{1}{a} > 0
  6. If a and b are both positive or both negative, then a < b \Longrightarrow \frac{1}{b} < \frac{1}{a}.

Remarks:

Notice the rules for multiplying an inequality by a number: Multiplying by a positive number preserves the inequality; multiplying by a negative number reverses the inequality. Also, reciprocation reverses the inequality for numbers of the same sign.

Regards,

Nalin Pithwa.

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