August 14, 2022

The number system is categorized into two types, real numbers, and complex numbers. In our real lives, we generally deal with real numbers. The real number system can be further classified into various categories which are as follows: integers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, natural numbers, whole numbers, and so on. When we talk about whole numbers and natural numbers, we often tend to get confused, however, it is quite simple to differentiate between the two. In a layman’s language, we can define whole numbers as those numbers that start with 0 and go on to infinity. On the other hand, natural numbers are those numbers that start with 1 and go on to infinity. In this article, we discuss the whole numbers and the natural numbers and differentiate between the two. 

Natural Numbers

Natural numbers are a part of rational numbers that include all the integers starting from 1 which go on to infinity. We see the presence of numbers everywhere, for measuring the temperature, for counting scores, for telling the time and the date, for exchanging money, etc. These numbers are basically called natural numbers. We can say that natural numbers are the subset of whole numbers. Some examples of natural numbers are 56, 76, 32, 41, 57, etc. We have discussed above that counting numbers are known as natural numbers. Thus, 0 is not a natural number since it is not used as a counting number. The symbol that is used to denote the set of natural numbers is ‘N’.

Whole Numbers

Whole numbers are a part of rational numbers that include all the integers starting from 0 which go on to infinity. The main difference between whole numbers and natural numbers is that whole numbers consist of an additional number that is 0. The symbol that is used to denote the set of whole numbers is ‘W’. If the concept of zero would not have been given by the famous mathematician Brahmagupta, we would certainly not have the concept of whole numbers.

Some Interesting Facts About Whole Numbers and Natural Numbers

There are some interesting facts about whole numbers and natural numbers which will help you understand them better.

  • All natural numbers come under the set of whole numbers.
  • All the counting numbers are known as natural numbers.
  • All positive integers are known as natural numbers while all positive integers with an additional number i.e 0 are known as whole numbers.
  • Whole numbers and natural numbers are the subsets of real numbers in a set order.

Whole Numbers Vs Natural Numbers

Whole Numbers Natural Numbers
Whole numbers are a part of rational numbers that include all the integers starting from 0 which go on to infinity. Natural numbers are a part of rational numbers that include all the integers starting from 1 which go on to infinity.
The symbol that is used to denote the set of whole numbers is ‘W’. The symbol that is used to denote the set of natural numbers is ‘N’.
Under the set notation, whole numbers are the superset of natural numbers. Under the set notation, natural numbers are the subset of whole numbers.
0 is the first number in the set of whole numbers. 1 is the first number in the set of natural numbers.
In the roster form, we can write whole numbers as: W = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, ….} In the roster form, we can write natural numbers as: N = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, ….}

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