The *comparison*
operators (also called
*relational*
operators) are used to determine which of two values appears first in
a given order. Like the equality and inequality operators, the
comparison operators return one of the Boolean values
`true`

or `false`

indicating
whether the relationship described in the comparison is accurate
(`true`

) or inaccurate (`false`

).

Comparison operators work only with strings
and numbers.
When the two operands of a comparison operator are numbers, the
comparison is performed mathematically: *5 <
10* is `true`

, *-3 < -6
*is `false`

, and so on. When the two
operands of a comparison operator are strings, the comparison is
performed according to character code points, as shown in Appendix B. See Section 4.6.2 in
Chapter 4 for details on string comparisons.

The interpreter will attempt to convert any nonstring or nonnumeric
data value used in a comparison operation to the
*string* or *number* type.
We’ll consider the effect of datatype conversions on comparison
operations after we discuss the comparison operators themselves.

The
*less-than*
operator takes the general form:

`operand1`

<`operand2`

If the operands are numeric, the less-than operator returns the
Boolean `true`

if
* operand1* is mathematically smaller than

`operand2`

5 < 6 // true 5 < 5 // false; they are equal, but 5 is not less than 5 -3 < -6 // false; -3 is larger than -6 -6 < -3 // true; -6 is smaller than -3

If the operands are strings, the less-than operator returns
`true`

if ...

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