What is a natural number, their opposites, and 0.

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gsarora17 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The counting numbers starting from 1 (one) are called natural numbers.

Thus we have the set of natural numbers N as N=`{1,2,3,4,5,6,....}`

The dots in the end indicate that the process of counting is endless and as such there is no end to natural numbers.

All natural numbers together with 0 are called as whole numbers.

Thus the set of whole numbers W =`{0,1,2,3,4,5,.....}`

Clearly every natural number is a whole number but 0 is a whole number and it is not a natural number.

So , the smallest natural number is 1 , while the smallest whole number is 0.

When we add negative sign to the natural numbers , they become the opposite numbers also known as Additive Inverse. 

So. -1,-2,-3,-4 -5,......  are opposite numbers

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spolak eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Natural numbers are the numbers we use when counting. For example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... and so forth.

0 is a strange number, but when we include it in a list with all the natural numbers (or counting numbers) that new collection is called Whole numbers. 

The opposite of Natural Numbers (or really whenever the term opposite is used, means make positive values negative or negative values positive) is to take all the counting numbers and make them negative. So this would consist of the list of -1, -2, -3, -4, -5 ... and so forth.

kspcr111 | Student

Natural number is the positive number which lies between 1 to infinity in the number line. 

where as when the 0 is added to the natural numbers then those set of numbers are called as Whole numbers.

so the set of numbers start from 0- infinity in the number line

Note: the number with decimals included are not considered to be a natural numbers or whole numbers. 

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