Difference between Number and Integer

Sep 27, 2011 by

Difference between Number and Integer

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  1. daniel

    We have all used integers and numbers in one way or other, particularly during mathematics lessons. However, can you really tell an integer from a number easily? If you answered no to this question, this article is written for you as it tries to list the main distinctions between these two mathematical terms. Zero is the only exception as it can be called an integer as well as a number because it is its own negative.

    1. Meaning

    A number, also called whole number, should be positive. Nevertheless, integers are the negatives or opposites of numbers. For instance, the number 4 is part of whole numbers and integers as well, whereas -4 is only an integer and is not among the whole numbers. In addition, neither integers nor whole numbers may have decimal or fractional parts that do not match a certain whole number. As such, 4.25 is neither an integer nor a number. Also, 2/3 is neither an integer nor a number.

    2. Limitations

    Integers have no limitations and they can be both negative and positive. This means the number 4 is a positive integer while -4 is a negative integer. Conversely, the same is not true for whole numbers. This is because they are limited to positive. Once a number becomes negative, it is then said to be an integer.

    3. Classification

    Whole numbers can be classified further into other small subsets while integers cannot. Numbers can be further classified into either irrational or rational groups. Rational numbers are numbers that can be shown like ratios between integers. Fractions and integers can be rational numbers but this does not apply to all fractions.

    In brief, integers are not irrational numbers or special numbers like pi. However, whole numbers have more applications in the real world than do integers.

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