I currently have a counting system where if we have a red and blue jar, and the red jar has 3 items while the blue jar has 6, I say that the blue jar had an "increase" over the red jar.

However, I am hoping to come up with a way to disambiguate a comparison where one jar has none, and the other has at least one. For example, in the above I would consider the two jars to be the same, because both have at least one item.

But, if the red jar had no items and the blue jar had 2 items, I would like to come up with a phrase/word for describing the fact the blue jar is "larger" than the red jar.

Is there a phrase or term for describing "all or nothing" size comparisons?

  • 3
    Increase isn't the right word; it means that something has grown in size or number, not that it is larger than something else. Oct 8, 2022 at 11:54
  • When asking a single word request you should come up with an example sentence with a blank, to show how you will use the word. And it helps to say if you want something formal, informal, colloquial, scientific, math jargon, or for some other context. As mentioned, you're using "increase" wrongly so it is very hard to infer what you want to say. "This has some, this has none," is the best I can do.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 8, 2022 at 12:08
  • @KateBunting Yes, I agree its not the right word, this was inadvertently used in a setting of mine.
    – user321627
    Oct 8, 2022 at 12:22
  • I am trying to label the two scenarios, would it be fair to call the first scenario the "Relative Comparison" and the second the "Absolute Comparison"?
    – user321627
    Oct 8, 2022 at 12:23
  • Can you give an example sentence where your word would fit in?
    – Stuart F
    Nov 7, 2022 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


Binary (Wiktionary)

  1. Being in one of two mutually exclusive states; such as on or off, true or false, molten or frozen, or presence or absence.

    Binary states are often represented as 1 and 0 in computer science.

  2. (logic) Concerning logic whose subject matter concerns binary states.

  3. (arithmetic, computing) Concerning numbers and calculations using the binary number system.

  4. Having two equally important parts; related to something with two parts.

    Two ingredients are combined in a binary poison. A binary statistical distribution has only two categories.

  5. (mathematics, programming, computer engineering) Of an operation, function, procedure or logic gate, taking exactly two operands, arguments, parameters or inputs; having domain of dimension 2.

    Division of reals is a binary operation.

  6. (computing) Of data, consisting coded values (e.g. machine code) not interpretable as plain or ASCII text (e.g. source code).

    He downloaded the binary distribution for Linux, then burned it to DVD.

  7. (comparable) Focusing on two mutually exclusive conditions.

    He has a very binary understanding of gender.

Inequation (Wikipedia)

In mathematics, an inequation is a statement that an inequality holds between two values.1 It is usually written in the form of a pair of expressions denoting the values in question, with a relational sign between them indicating the specific inequality relation. Some examples of inequations are:

a < b
x + y + z ≤ 1 
n > 1 
x ≠ 0 

Kindly see also "See also" section on this page. :)

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