For each type of Compare problem, I’ve created a slide deck with 10 ready-to-customize Numberless Word Problems. If you want to edit the slides, all you have to do is download or make a copy of the slide deck.

More about Compare problems

This problem type involves situations where two quantities are compared using an amount called the difference.

Compare problems contain the following elements:

  • A greater quantity
  • A lesser quantity
  • The difference between the two quantities

It is important to understand that the difference can be described in two ways depending on whether the greater or lesser quantity is being referred to first:

  • The difference can tell how many more the greater quantity is than the lesser quantity. For example, 5 is 3 more than 2.
  • The difference can tell how many fewer the lesser quantity is than the greater quantity. For example, 2 is 3 fewer than 5.

The difference is 3 regardless of whether you’re comparing 5 to 2 or 2 to 5. However, the language changes (3 more than, 3 fewer than) depending on which quantity is referred to first.

While comparing is often associated with the operation of subtraction, subtraction is not necessarily the operation needed to solve a Compare problem. If the lesser quantity or difference is unknown, for example, then addition OR subtraction may be successfully used to represent the situation and/or determine the unknown quantity.