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What Are Whole Numbers in Math?

Whole numbers are a basic part of mathematics. With our straightforward guide, you can master whole numbers quickly and easily.
Mathematics
7 minutes
What Are Whole Numbers in Math?
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Have you ever wondered, "What are whole numbers in math?" If so, you're not alone. Whole numbers are an important concept in mathematics, and understanding them can help you solve various problems.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at whole numbers and how they can be used in mathematical equations. By the end, you should have a better understanding of this important topic. So let's get started!

What are whole numbers?

Whole numbers are a type of number used for counting, ordering, and measuring in mathematics. Most of the time, they don't have fractions or decimals and go from 0 to infinity.

Whole numbers are one of the most fundamental types of numbers, and basic arithmetic operations such as addition and multiplication can be applied to them; this makes them incredibly versatile.

Whole numbers also have certain properties that make them unique compared to other types of numbers, including commutativity, which means the order in which operations occur between two whole numbers doesn’t impact the final result.

What is the definition of a whole number?

Whole numbers are a basic type of math structure that is used to count and describe amounts. Examples of whole numbers include any positive integer, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 500, or 7 million.

Whole numbers can't be changed. They have a fixed value and don't have any fractional or decimal parts. This makes them ideal for representing discrete values, such as the number of people in a room or the number of apples in a basket.

Whole numbers are also known for the fact that they follow some basic math rules, like adding and multiplying. These operations adhere to commutative properties, meaning that the order in which they take place doesn’t affect the final result. 

For example, if you add 3 and 5, it doesn’t matter if you start with 3 or 5; the result will always be 8.

Even in more complicated equations, whole numbers still follow the basic rules of math, which makes them useful for making calculations and formulas.

What are the properties of whole numbers?

Whole numbers, also known as natural numbers, are a subset of integers. When compared to other types of numbers, beginning with the number zero and including counting numbers such as one, two, three, and so on, they have few properties.

One of the most important properties of numbers is that whole numbers can always be divided by themselves (apart from zero) to give a result of one. As a consequence of this property, every whole number must be greater than 0 but not equal to it.

Mathematicians often compare whole numbers to fractions or decimals to learn more about how they work. In comparison with fractional numbers, whole numbers have no fractional parts and have an infinite number of decimal places up to any chosen digit.

Lastly, other math operations, like division, can produce results that are not whole. However, they are all linked by the basic idea that adding any two whole numbers together makes a new whole number.

What is the difference between whole numbers and natural numbers?

The difference between whole numbers and natural numbers is that whole numbers include 0, while natural numbers do not.

In other words, natural numbers are positive integers greater than zero (1, 2, 3, etc.), while whole numbers include all non-negative integers, including zero (0, 1, 2, 3, etc.).

Therefore, when talking about counting numbers, the term “natural number” is often used to refer to the set of positive integers. But the term "whole number" is usually used when talking about all non-negative integers, including 0.

Additionally, whole numbers are commonly used in mathematical operations like addition and subtraction due to their inherent property of "closure,"  which means that when two whole numbers are added or subtracted, the result is always a whole number. This makes it easy to calculate with them since you can be certain of the outcome.

In summary, natural numbers refer to positive integers greater than zero, while whole numbers include all non

The difference between whole numbers and natural numbers is that whole numbers include 0, while natural numbers do not.

In other words, natural numbers are positive integers greater than zero (1, 2, 3, etc.), while whole numbers include all non-negative integers, including zero (0, 1, 2, 3, etc.).

Therefore, when talking about counting numbers, the term “natural number” is often used to refer to the set of positive integers. But the term "whole number" is usually used when talking about all non-negative integers, including 0.

Additionally, whole numbers are commonly used in mathematical operations like addition and subtraction due to their inherent property of "closure,"  which means that when two whole numbers are added or subtracted, the result is always a whole number. This makes it easy to calculate with them since you can be certain of the outcome.

In summary, natural numbers refer to positive integers greater than zero, while whole numbers include

How to add and subtract whole numbers?

Learning how to add and subtract whole numbers can be a daunting task, yet it is something that everyone must do on a regular basis throughout their life. To do well in math and to understand it better, you need to know how to add and subtract.

Adding whole numbers requires knowledge of basic number sense and the ability to regroup, or "carry," when needed. Subtracting also involves being able to borrow from larger numbers and paying attention to detail when working with negative numbers.

Before moving on to more advanced math topics, it can be helpful for students to start by getting good at these two operations. With practice and patience, anyone can gain confidence in adding and subtracting whole numbers.

How to multiply and divide whole numbers

Learning multiplication and division can be a little tricky, but there are some helpful strategies you can use to make it easier. With whole numbers, the basic concepts of multiplication and division remain the same.

When you multiply, you add up two or more numbers, while when you divide, you break up a larger number into smaller parts. To multiply whole numbers, first start with the equation with the largest integer on one side and the multiplier on the other side (i.e., 5x3).

Then multiply each digit from the multiplier by each digit from the larger number in turn. Finally, add up all of your multiple answers for your final product.

To divide whole numbers, separate out each of the large number's digits into groups that fit into what you're dividing by (i.e., 16/4 -> 4 goes into 1 once and 4 goes into 6 once) and then finish with long division followed by rounding up or down to get an answer between a decimal and whole number.

Following these steps should help you be successful at multiplying and dividing whole numbers!

Tips for memorizing whole number facts

When it comes to memorizing whole number facts, practice and repetition are key. Start by striving to master the basic facts, such as single digits, addition, and subtraction, before moving on to double- and triple-digit numbers.

Incorporating visual cues and associations into your practice can help; for example, when learning 9+7=16, associate the 9 with a clock, since it looks like a flipped 6.

Additionally, use simple mnemonic devices to commit facts to memory, such as "please excuse my dear aunt Sally" (PEMDAS), to master the order of operations. PEMDAS stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

Finally, try to make memorization fun by creating games or puzzles out of number facts. Setting up a competition with your family and friends can help you work harder at your practice. With enough time and effort, you will be able to master the material.

Mastering whole numbers (with a little help)

Mastering whole numbers can take some time and patience, but with the right tools, it can be done. Start with a practice sheet or quiz to assess your current knowledge level. Then try simple math drills for addition and subtraction, like double-digit problems or carrying numbers.

Another great option is to hire an experienced tutor to help you. They can explain concepts that may be confusing and keep track of your progress so that you don't fall behind. With their guidance, you'll be able to understand the basics easily and work smarter rather than harder.

Here at Learnerator, our expert tutors have helped thousands of students master the fundamentals of math. We provide a range of tools and resources to help you along the way, including practice tests, video tutorials, quizzes, and more. With our support, your child will easily learn how to add and subtract whole numbers.

If you're looking for an easier way to understand the basics of math, our tutors can help, so don't hesitate to contact us today!

About the author:

Mike developed his passion for education as a math instructor at Penn State University. He expanded his educational experience launching and running an Executive Education business - training over 100,000 students per year. As the CEO of Learner, Mike focuses on accelerating learning and unleashing the potential of students. 

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