A real number is a
that can be positive or negative and have decimal places after the point.
Example: 3.44, -56.1
Drag the orange dot below to move it along the number line
A real number is a value that represents any quantity along a
Because they lie on a number line, their size can be compared.
You can say one is greater or less than another, and do arithmetic with them.
Other kinds of numbers
Integers are numbers that have no decimal places or fractional parts.
See Integer definition.
Whole numbers (Counting numbers)
Whole numbers (or counting numbers)
are numbers that have no decimal places or fractional parts, and cannot be negative.
They are usualy used to count things, for example "12 students". In this use, a negative number of students does not make sense.
See Integer definition
An imaginary number is a number whose square is negative. This can never happen with real numbers.
See Imaginary numbers.
Just as real numbers lie on a number line, complex numbers can be plotted on a 2-dimensional plane,
and each need a pair of numbers to identify them -
a real number and an imaginary number.
See Complex numbers
Animated definition of complex numbers and how they can be plotted on a two-dimensional plane
An imaginary number is one that when squared, gives a negative result.
An overview of the types of numbers that are used in math. Links to other pages explaining each type in depth. Explains also that some numbers are not numbers at all.
Related number topics
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