Challenge Level

*Which Is Bigger? printable sheet*

*You may wish to explore the problem* Which Is Cheaper? *before working on this task.*

**Which is bigger, $n+10$, or $2n+3$?**

How did you decide?

Here's how I decided:

"I wonder what happens when $n=4$."

"$4+10=14$ but $2 \times 4 + 3$ is only $11$."

"So it looks like $n+10$ is bigger."

But then my friend said:

"I wonder what happens when $n=10$."

"$10+10=20$ but $2 \times 10 +3$ is $23$."

"So it looks like $2n+3$ is bigger."

**Can you explain why we have come to different conclusions?**

**Is there a diagram you could draw that would help?**

For the following pairs of expressions, can you work out when each expression is bigger?

$2n+7$ and $4n+11$

$2(3n+4)$ and $3(2n+4)$

$2(3n+3)$ and $3(2n+2)$

- Find two expressions so that one is bigger whenever $n< 5$ and the other is bigger whenever $n> 5$.
- Find three expressions so that the first is biggest whenever $n< 0$, the second is biggest whenever $n$ is between 0 and 4, and the third is biggest whenever $n> 4$.
- Find three expressions so that the first is biggest whenever $n< 3$, the second is biggest when $n> 3$, and the third is never the biggest.
- Find three expressions so that one of them is the biggest regardless of the value of $n.$

*You may also be interested in the other problems in our Many ways to see Feature.*