# More conveniently

This can be done more conveniently using Bash’s numeric context:

```
if (( $(echo "$num1 > $num2" |bc -l) )); then
…
fi
```

## Explanation

Piping through the basic calculator command `bc`

returns either 1 or 0.

The option `-l`

is equivalent to `--mathlib`

; it loads the standard math library.

Enclosing the whole expression between double parenthesis `(( ))`

will translate these values to respectively true or false.

**Please, ensure that the bc basic calculator package is installed.**

**Caveat:** Exponential notation should be written as `*10^`

; not `E`

, nor `e`

.

For example:

```
$ echo "1*10^3==1000" |bc
1
```

Whereas

```
$ echo "1E3==1000" |bc
0
```

Strategies to overcome this `bc`

limitation are discussed here.