Types of Numbers in Mathematics & in Real Life

Types of Numbers in Mathematics & in Real Life


In Maths, there are various types of numbers. Based on these numbers, we do many calculations not only in our academics but also in real life. Basically, at our primary classes, we start learning with counting numbers. But as we proceed with higher classes, we come to know different types of numbers.

Let us learn here, what these numbers are.

Natural Numbers: All positive and counting numbers starting from 1 till infinity are natural numbers {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10….).

Whole Numbers: All the natural numbers along with zero (0) are called whole numbers.

Integers: All the negative numbers and positive number along with zero are called integers.

Real Numbers: These numbers include all the numbers which can be represented in the form of decimals.

Rational and Irrational Numbers: The numbers which are represented in the form of P/Q, where P is the numerator and Q is the denominator, are called rational numbers. Here P and Q both are integers. But the real numbers that are not rational are called irrational numbers. Both rational and irrational numbers have their own significance.

Complex Numbers: These are the numbers which are not real. They are a combination of real numbers and imaginary numbers. Usually, complex numbers are represented in the form of x+iy.

Even and Odd numbers: These are the very basic types of numbers, which we learn in our primary classes. The numbers which are divisible by 2 are called even numbers and the number which are not divisible by 2 completely are odd numbers.

  • Set of even numbers are 0,2,4,6,8,10,12,..so on.
  • Set of odd numbers are 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,..so on

Prime Numbers: The numbers who have only two factors, i.e., 1 and number itself, are called prime numbers. Now you may think, what are factors? So, the factors are the numbers which can divide a particular number completely. For example, 2 is the factor 4 but not of 5.

  • Set of prime numbers are 2,3,5,7,11,13,etc.

Composite numbers: The numbers that have more than two factors or the numbers which are not prime numbers are called composite numbers.

  • Set of composite numbers are 4,6,8,9,12,etc.

Discrete and Continuous Numbers: The above types of numbers can be divided into discrete or continuous numbers. Natural numbers, whole numbers, integers and rational numbers are mentioned as discrete. This indicates that they are separate and different entities. In fact, all these numbers are countable. But real numbers cannot be counted, because they are continuous. However, the two real numbers are close to each other, but between these two numbers, there are many real numbers.

Numbers in Real Life

There are other types of numbers which are related to real-life scenarios, such as:

Cardinal numbers: The numbers which are used for counting purposes. Basically, the word cardinal means ‘how many’ of any number of objects or number of persons associated with a group. For example, there are 60 students in a class or there are 20 apples in a basket.

Ordinal numbers: The numbers which represent the position of an object or a person. For example, Sam cam first in the race.

Nominal numbers: The numbers which are used as a name or identity. For example, the vehicle number, player number, etc.

Hence, we can conclude here that the numbers play a major role not only in our studies and qualifications but also in day to day life. To make our life easier, one must know the types of numbers and what are their importance.


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