Transforming inequalities over the real numbers

Given integers a and b and the relation a <= b, intuitively I feel I can transform this inequality into a strict inequality like this:

a < b + 1

Conversely, I should be able to transform the strict inequality a < b to a non-strict one like this:

a + 1 <= b

My question is, is there any way I can do the same transformations if a and b are real numbers, WITHOUT introducing some kind of slack/surplus variables? I.e. is there a way to do the transformation by only using constants? I do not feel that it should be possible due to the nature of the real numbers, but I would just like to find out.

• Excluding "dummy variables", I don't see how one could do it. But with those, I suppose you know that you can do $\forall \epsilon>0: a<b+\epsilon$ for $a\leq b$. – Raskolnikov May 6 '13 at 11:44
• Yea, that was the only solution I could see. It complicates an algorithm I am working on though, so I just wanted to know if there was some other solution. – csvan May 6 '13 at 11:58
• Maybe you can show us what the algorithm is and what you really want to achieve? There might be another way that doesn't involve what you're asking here. – Raskolnikov May 6 '13 at 12:04

Assume you had a continous $f$ and $b$, $c$ such that $$x < b \text{ exactly if } f(x) \leq c \text{.}$$ Pick a sequence $(x_n)$ with $x_n \to b$ from below, i.e. $x_n < b$ for all $n$. You'd then have $$f(x_n) \leq c \text{ for all n}$$ and because $f$ is continuous also $$f(b) \leq c \text{,}$$ but that (according to the initial assumption) means $$b < b$$ which of course is impossible.