For any two numbers \( a \) and \(b\), the law of trichotomy states that exactly one of the following must be true:
- \( a = b \), so that \( a \) is equal to \( b\),
- \( a < b \), so that \(a\) is less than \( b \), or
- \( a > b \), so that \(a \) is greater than \( b \).
For example, the statement \( x > 2 \) refers to all the numbers greater than 2 only, whereas \( x \geq 2 \) refers to all of those numbers but also to 2 itself.